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Swollen shoot disease devastates cocoa farms in Atwima-Mponua

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Large cocoa farms at Bayerebon Number Five in the Atwima-Mponua District had been attacked by the swollen shoot disease, threatening the area’s cocoa production.

Already 59,000 affected trees had been cut down.

Mr Samuel Gyima Gyamfi, Ashanti Regional Director of the Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease Control Unit (CSSVDCU) of the Ghana Cocoa Board, said the Unit had intensified efforts to stop its spread.

As part of this, a day’s rally to educate farmers on the symptoms and control measures was held at Bayerebon Number Five.

It brought together farmers from nearby cocoa growing communities including Manukrom, Bayerebon Number Four, Bayerebon Number Three, Bayerebon Number Two and Bayerebon Number One.

The disease is transmitted to the plant by mealy bugs and since its outbreak in the country in the 1930s, has wreaked havoc on vast tracts of cocoa farms.

Mr Gyamfi said the disease was highly infectious and that the Unit would make sure that it did not spread by destroying affected farms.

Owners of destroyed farms would receive monetary compensation and would also be supplied with swollen shoot resistant hybrid to re-plant.

He appealed to the farmers for understanding and cooperation with the extension officers to deal decisively with the threat posed by the disease.

Nana Amoako Ogyampa, Chief of Bayerebon Number Five, expressed gratitude to the CSSVDCU for its quick response to the disease.

Source: GNA

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