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Western North: Government hands over rehabilitated cocoa farms to farmers

cocoa

The government is set to hand over rehabilitated cocoa farms in the Western North Region to their owners.

The two-year-long cocoa rehabilitation programme saw the government cut down thousands of cocoa trees affected by the cocoa swollen shoot viral disease.

The government-funded programme was led by COCOBOD as part of measures to restore and revitalise cocoa farms in the Western North Region where about 3000 hectares of cocoa farms were affected by the swollen shoot virus in 2017.

Some farmers who were affected by the exercise commended COCOBOD for the initiative.

“I don’t believe we can ever say that the cocoa we are harvesting today is from a certain government’s rehabilitation programme about 10 years ago because this area was also affected at that time, but today we are seeing a different rehabilitation process, even as we await the regrowth, the government has given us plantain suckers for free and has also done the cutting, nursery and replanting at no cost to the farmer.

“Above that, the government is also paying for labourers to weed the cocoa farms until they are ready to bud,” a farmer said.

Listen to a farmer speak to Asaase Radio in the audio below:

https://www.asaaseradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/COCOA-FARMER-.mp3?_=1

The chief executive officer of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahene Aidoo has urged beneficiary framers to ensure proper agronomic and agroforestry practices to ensure sustenance farming.

“We had 315,000 hectares of cocoa farmland that had been affected by the cocoa swollen shoot viral disease. Apart from that, we also had over 400,000 hectares of cocoa farms that could be described as moribund; they’ve been over-aged and not floating. So, together we’re talking about over 700,000 hectares and that constitutes almost about one-third of the total cultivated lands of cocoa in Ghana.

“So, if you have one-third of your land, other diseases or not being productive then, it means that the industry actually will suffer,” he said.

Aidoo added: “…So, with the government intervention then, assisting COCOBOD to go for the AFDB money, a chunk of it which is intended for the rehabilitation programme, we’re focusing more on the Western North; that’s the epicentre of the disease”

Listen to Aidoo in the attached audio below:

https://www.asaaseradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/COCOBOD-CEO-.mp3?_=2

Nicholas Brown

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