Cocoa production up in Central Region
Cocoa production in the Central Region increased from 35,000 tones in the 2008/2009 season to 62,000 tones in 2009/2010 season, Mr Ebenezer Opoku-Agyemang, Central Region Quality Control Unit Manager of COCOBOD, has said.
He attributed the increase to the mass Cocoa Spraying programme, utilization of advice given by extension officers and the correct application of pesticides and fertilizers, among others factors.
Mr Opoku-Agyemang, said this at a rally organised by the Unit in collaboration with the Central Regional office of Cocoa and Sheanut Farmers Association at Assin Foso in the Central Region, on Tuesday.
Mr Opoku-Agyemang advised the farmers to follow advice given them by cocoa extension officers, especially the recommendation to ferment the beans for six days.
He explained that this would enable them to produce high quality premium cocoa beans to sustain Ghana’s image on the world market.
He appealed to cocoa farmers in the Region to sell their produce in their localities to reflect their production levels, explaining that selling them in other areas distorted the figures to their disadvantage.
Mr Opoku-Agyemang said because of that practice, cocoa production in the Assin Foso District showed a reduction from 20,400 bags in 2008/2009 to 19,300 bags in 2009/2010.
He said from January this year to date, the Foso District had produced 17,383 bags of cocoa and expressed the hope when farmers sell their produce in the district, the production figure would shoot up.
Mr Samuel Ankamah, Central Regional Cocoa Extension Co-ordinator, advised the farmers to use Roundup and Chemosate to kill weeds and use Atara, Confido and Akatemaster on their farms to improve yield.
He advised the farmers to report to the authorities of COCOBOD when they detect that the leaves of the cocoa trees have turned yellowish.
According to him, when cocoa trees are attacked by the Swollen Shoot disease, the only remedy is to cut them down and replace with new plants.