No witches in viral infections of cocoa trees – District Manager

Cocoa farmers have been urged not to view the destruction of their swollen shoot viral infected cocoa trees as the work of witches.

Mr Adamu Alimiyao- Baba, Boadua District Manager of the Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease (CSSVD) Unit of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), said the SSVD was rampant in that area and the only way to protect affected farms was to cut down the diseased trees.

Mr Alimiyao- Baba was addressing a farmers rally at Quashie in the West Akyem Municipality on Friday to educate them on the devastating nature of the disease and modern farming practices to maximize cocoa yield.

He said affected farmers would be compensated.

Mr Alimiyao-Baba said COCOBOB had targeted the production of one million tons of cocoa this year and advised the farmers to heed to good agricultural practices for the set goal to be realised.

He advised the farmers to form co-operatives to enable them to benefit from more incentives from the Government.

The District Manager also challenged them to ensure that they fermented their cocoa beans properly to enable the country to maintain its reputation as the producer of quality cocoa.

Mr Kwame Pius Senyo, Kade District Manager of the COCOBOD, noted that even though about 65 per cent of the Ghanaian population were farmers the nation still fell short of food security due to poor farming practices and advised farmers to avail themselves of modern agricultural practices.

He cautioned them to guard against the use of child labour on their farms to spare the country of being black-listed by foreign buyers of cocoa.

Mr Senyo announced to the farmers amidst applause that government had decided that insecticides for spraying of cocoa farms would now be given to them personally.

He said spraying of cocoa farms was free of charge and urged them to report any spraying gang who may demand monies from them before offering them their services.

Source: GNA

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