Akyem-Nkronso (E/R), March 13, GNA – Government has introduced an incentive package to support any group of young people who want to enter into cocoa farming in the country.
The programme, is to attract more young people into cocoa farming to replace the aging cocoa farmers, many of whom cannot sustain the future of the cocoa industry in the country.
This was disclosed by the Eastern Regional Manager of Cocoabod, Mr Samuel Gyimah Gyemfi at a cocoa farmers rally at Akyem Nkronso, near Kibi.
The rally was attended by cocoa farmers from Apedwa, Akyem Asafo, Akoko, Agyeponmaa, Boetey and other surrounding communities.
Mr Gyemfi urged the youth to form groups to take advantage of the package to change their fortunes.
He announced that Cocoabod is gathering information on cocoa farmers and the acreage being cultivated by each cocoa farmer, as well as their produce, to be used as the basis for the establishment of the pension scheme for cocoa farmers.
Mr Gyemfi said there is no country in the world where cocoa farmers enjoys so much support from the government like in Ghana and urged cocoa farmers to take good care of the cocoa spraying machines given them.
He said, the cocoa fertilizer supplied to cocoa farmers and the surveying of their cocoa farms are free and urged them to report anyone who demands payment from them.
Mr Freeman Addo-Aikins, the Quality Control Officer of Cocoabod, for the Tafo District, warned cocoa farmers in the area to desist from selling their cocoa to smugglers.
He reminded them that, the quantity of support given to the cocoa farmers in any cocoa district depend on the volume of cocoa beans that the district produces and advised the cocoa farmers to ensure that they sell all their cocoa to purchasing clerks in the area .
The East Akim Municipal Director of Agriculture, Mr Welbeck Ellom, urged the Cocoabod to expand their nurseries to enable the cocoa farmers to have enough seedlings.
Mr Ellom advised the cocoa farmers to establish their own nurseries so supplement what Cocoabod gives them.
Earlier in a welcoming address, the Tafo District Cocoa Officer, Mr Charles Kabutey Ocansey, advised cocoa farmers against the use of child labour on their farms.
During an open form, the cocoa farmers complained of discrimination in the mass cocoa farms spraying exercise based on political party affiliations, and that, some communities did not receive their share of the free cocoa fertilizers.
The Chief of Akyem Nkronso who chaired the function, Osabarimah Danso Abiam Ofori I, appealed to Cocoabod to construct a depot in the area to ensure that all the cocoa grown in the area could be purchased and stored there before being transportation to the ports.
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