Famers who convert used weedicides and other agro chemical containers into drinking bottles and other domestic use have been warned against a looming health risks.
The practice of converting used agro-chemical containers into other uses is common among cocoa farmers in Gambia No. 2 in the Asutifi North district of the Brong Ahafo region.
The Sector Manager for Petroforce-Sika Aba, a cocoa purchasing company, Mr Thomas Andoh, warned farmers that the long term effect could be dire if not stopped.
He was addressing cocoa farmers at Gambia No. 2 during the company’s announcement of GHC 320,000 premium in the area.
More than 4,000 cocoa farmers benefitted from the bonus on certified cocoa beans purchased by the company over the year’s and sold to the Cocobod.
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The annual declaration of the premium by the company is the encourage farmers to produce more and helping to meet their basic financial needs.
MrAndoh whose jurisdiction covers BrongAhafo, the southern and northern parts of the Western regions urged farmers to conduct thorough medical test to correct any anomaly of any.
Good agro practices
He told the farmers not to sacrifice good agriculture practices for anything because it was the sure way of sustaining and increasing yield.
The Sector Manager said rather than resorting to the use of weedicides, farmers should weed their farms manually since the cut weeds could also service as manure to nourish their plants.
He promised that the company would support the farmers in the area of afforestation to protect young cocoa seedlings from the scorching sun.
The Coordinator for Petroforce-Sika Aba, Evans Bempah, called for a deeper relationship between farmers and the company since each depended on other.
He said the company would not renege on its part of the relationship to ensure that the welfare of farmers was guaranteed.
The Kyidomhene for Gambia No. 2, Nana SarfoKantaka, called on produce buying companies across the country to protect the interest of farmers because they have been short-changed for a very long time.
He alleged that most of the weighing scales used by the officers of many of such companies were skewed towards the benefit of the such companies and not farmers.
Nana Kantaka called for fairness and professionalism in the treatment of cocoa farmers because they continue to be the backbone of the country’s economy.
He also pleased with Petroforce-Sika Aba to help provide some basic social amenities for Gambia No. 2.
Petroforce-Sika Aba was formed in 2002 between a Swiss and Ghanaian companies to buy raw cocoa beans from farmers and sold to Cocobod.
Petroforce, the Swiss company which also deals in other products including oil is expected to change its name to Agroforce to focus on only cocoa.
Subsequently, the new name is expected to be called Agroforce-Sika Aba.