Cocoa farmers advised to desist from using fake pesticides

Mr Ebenezer Opoku-Agyemang, Central Regional Quality Control Division Manager, has urged cocoa farmers in the region to avoid the use of fake pesticides on their farms.

He said applying wrong pesticides did not only reduce the lifespan of the trees but also exposed consumers of the products to health risk.

Mr Opoku-Agyemang said this at a rally at Breman Asikuma jointly organised by the Division and the Central Regional Cocoa Chief Farmer for farmers in the Asikuma-Odoben-Barkwa District.

He mentioned Phiogan and Phimex as some of the dangerous pesticides and advised the farmers to use recommended pesticides to help save the cocoa industry.

Mr Opoku-Agyemang urged farmers to strictly adhere to the six-day fermentation period after harvesting, ensure that the cocoa beans were properly dried and remove all the rotten ones from the lot before sending them to the depot.

He said improper drying of the cocoa beans reduced the quality.

“You should adhere to the advice of the cocoa extension officers to ensure that the country continued to be the number one quality cocoa beans producer in the world.”

He said cocoa production in Asikuma District increased from 108,797 bags in 2008/2009 to 114,661 bags at the end of 2009/2010 main crop season.

Mr Opoku-Agyemang urged the farmers to embrace modern cocoa farming practices to produce more quality cocoa beans.

Nana Kwesi Ofori, Central Regional Cocoa Chief Farmer, advised the farmers to sell their produce to accredited buying companies to enable them to enjoy the scholarship scheme for their children.

He said they should use Roundup and Sarosate insecticides to destroy weeds on their farmers as any other pesticide could be harmful and injurious to the cocoa tree and reduce their lifespan.

Nana Ofori called on the cocoa farmers to spray Sidalco liquid fertilizer once every year on their farms to increase their  yield.

He said as at the end of 2010 cocoa production in the Central Region increased from 35,000 tones in 2009 to 62,000 tones and urged the farmers to work harder to improve on their yield.

Nana Okoriyaw Abonyi X, Adontenhen of Breman Traditional Area, who chaired the function, appealed to the government to ensure that mass cocoa spraying programme benefited all farmers.

He advised the farmers to follow the laid down rules to produce more cocoa to help increase the country’s tonnage on the world market.

Source: GNA

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