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‘Mass pruning, hand pollination was to increase cocoa yield’

BY: Daniel Kenu
Mr Samuel Amponsah (inset) delivering a speech at the inauguration, while the farmers listen with rapt attention
Mr Samuel Amponsah (inset) delivering a speech at the inauguration, while the farmers listen with rapt attention

The Executive Director of Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED) of COCOBOD, Mr Samuel Amponsah, has told farmers that the implementation of the mass pruning and hand pollination was not to impoverish them but to increase yield and their earnings.

He was correcting an erroneous impression by farmers that the policies being implemented by COCOBOD would deprive farmers of more cocoa trees.

Mr Amponsah gave the advice during the inauguration of some cocoa farmers associations in the Atwima Mponua District of the Ashanti Region.

He said the policies would go a long way to increase productivity of cocoa farmers in the country and also help improve their standard of living.

Mr Amponsah said COCOBOD sought to improve the welfare of cocoa farmers in the country through the introduction of practices that would enhance their lives.

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He said rather than criticise the policies, the farmers should look at the long-term positive effects that they would gain.

Three associations

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The three associations inaugurated were the Akantansu Nkwanta Cocoa Farmers Association, Kwakumire Women Cocoa Farmers Association and Akoraboukrom Cocoa Farmers Association, all in the Atwima Mponua District.

They have a combined membership of 305, including 148 females.

The Secretary of the Akantansu Nkwanta Cocoa Farmers Association, Mr Okyere Frimpong, told the Daily Graphic that the main purpose of the establishment of the association was to help adopt modern techniques of cocoa farming to enhance productivity.

The composite association also has the objective of engaging the youth and enticing them to embrace cocoa farming as an alternative business.

Appreciation

Mr Frimpong expressed gratitude to the government and COCOBOD for the 'Productivity Enhancement Programmes' that had been introduced to increase yield.

He noted that the programmes had come on time to save farmers from some of the difficulties they faced during production, and appealed to COCOBOD to support the association with motorised spraying machines and chemicals to aid productivity.

Mr Frimpong further called on the government to reduce the already subsidised granular fertiliser to make it more affordable for farmers.

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