Group partners COCOBOD to raise cocoa production

A new technology to aid the rehabilitation of aged cocoa farms and increase crop yield has been introduced in the Sekyere East District.

It involves the extraction of fungus from the soil to provide single treatment support for the plants.

The project, initiated by BISSA, an agricultural non governmental organization, would be extended to cover all cocoa growing districts in the country.

Dr Kofi Boa, an Agricultural Consultant, at a ceremony held at Effiduase to officially launch it, said it would significantly help to conserve the environment for sustained crop production.

Dependence on artificial chemicals by farmers to raise output, he warned, could have long term disastrous effect on the soil.

He said it was on account of this that cheaper and less harmful means were needed to retain soil fertility.

Dr Boa advised farmers against the slash and burning method of farming, because this tended to kill most of the micro-organisms that helped to preserve the nutrients to support crop yield.

He said it was time farmers were encouraged to play pivotal roles in the protection of the environment.

Mr Kwabena Asumadu Yeboah, Ashanti Regional Coordinator of Cocoa Rehabilitation Programme of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), said the government had put measures in place to ensure that cocoa trees planted more than 25 years ago were cut down.

He said farmers would receive compensation for this and would be undertaken with the consent of farmers.

Those whose farms were cut down would be supplied with free hybrid cocoa seedlings and plantain suckers as well as seeds of tree species like “Odum”.

Mr Thomas Oduro Kwarteng, Chief Executive Officer of BISSA, said his organization aims at providing intensive education on cocoa rehabilitation and best farming practices.

They would work in partnership with COCOBOD and all stakeholders in the cocoa industry to raise production levels and maintain the quality of the beans.

Nana Adu Ameyaw II, Chief of Asante-Effiduase, pledged support for the project.

Source: GNA

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