The government, through the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), will pay compensation to all cocoa farmers and landowners whose swollen shoot-infested cocoa farms will be cut down throughout the country, Mr Samuel Ankamah, the Deputy Central Regional Manager of the Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED) of the COCOBOD, has said.
He explained that the exercise would be preceded by a series of stakeholder consultations with landowners, farmers, the government, COCOBOD and others towards ensuring its successful implementation.
Mr Ankamah was addressing a farmers’ rally organised for cocoa farmers within the Nyakrom Cocoa District at Agona Ahamadonko in the Central Region last Wednesday.
It sought to educate the farmers on their challenges and the various interventions being put in place to address those challenges in order to increase the yield in the sector.
He announced that affected farmers would be supplied with free improved cocoa seedlings that would germinate in 18 months, Ammonia, economic shade trees and plantain to enable them to start planting again.
Cocoa mass spraying
He noted that COCOBOD had resolved to give the mass spraying exercise a boost by forming local task forces in cocoa growing communities that would oversee the spraying of all farms towards ensuring an increase in the country’s cocoa yield.
For his part, Mr Patrick Owiredu, the Nyakrom District Cocoa Officer, urged the farmers to form groups and register them as co-operatives, since COCOBOD would, henceforth, be dealing with farmer groups and not individuals.
The Quality Control Officer for Assin Foso District, Mr Vincent Odjawu, advised the cocoa farmers to handle the cocoa beans properly after harvesting to prevent contamination and ensure that they were of high quality for consumption.
Nana Kwesi Ofori, the Central Regional Chief Farmer, called on the farmers to take part in the ongoing registration exercise intended to get a proper database of all cocoa farmers to enable the government to introduce a pension scheme for them.
Nana Kwame Okore II, the chief of the town, who chaired the event, urged the farmers to fully support the government’s quest to cut down old and infested cocoa trees and plant new ones.