Cocoa production in Assin District increases in 2010

Cocoa production in the Assin District of the Central Region increased from 11,625.4 tons in 2008-2009 Cocoa season to 12,500.4 tons in 2009-2010, Mr Francis Offe-Sakyi, Assin District Quality Cocoa Control Officer has said.

He said this was as a result of sensitization of farmers, mass spraying of cocoa farms and proper applying of agro-chemical by the farmers in the district.

Mr Offe-Sakyi said this at meeting organized by the Central Region chief farmer for 14 cocoa purchasing companies at Assin Fosu operating in the district.

The meeting, aimed at discussing issues that would help promote the cocoa industry, was attended by Adwumapa, Kuapa, Akuafo Adanfo, Cocoa Merchant, Transroyal, Royal Commodities, Olam and Fedco Evando among other cocoa buying companies.

Mr Offe-Sayi expressed the hope that the farmers would continue to work hard to improve upon that standard.

Nana Kwesi Offori, Central Region Chief Farmer, said as  part of strategies to protect the cocoa industry from collapse, a special task force had been put in place to prevent cocoa smuggling from one district to another and even outside the country.

He said to ensure success of the task force, snap barriers would be mounted at some vantage points throughout the country and anyone arrested would be handed to the police while the cocoa would be seized.

Mr Offori said the seized cocoa would be sold and 10 percent of the proceeds would be given to the task force and the rest paid into government chest.

He therefore advised cocoa buying companies to desist from such practices to avoid arrest.

He appealed to those who had not paid their 2009/2010 bonus to the farmers to do so immediately.

Mr Offori entreated the various purchasing clerks of the companies not to keep the farmer pass books but should return them to their owners after making the necessary entries.

Nana Kwame Krankyi II, Assin District Chief Farmer, commended the companies for exhibiting good entrepreneurship and urged them to educate the farmers on the need to paste pictures on the passbooks to make easy identification.

He commended the government for giving cocoa farmers in the area their share of the solar touch light meant for cocoa farmers in the country.

Source: GNA

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