Africa’s cocoa producers pledge to control cocoa pests and diseases

cocoa-treeCocoa Producers have pledged their commitment to control indigenous pests and diseases affecting cocoa production in Africa after a four-day regional workshop on Integrated Management of Cocoa Pests and Pathogens in Africa.

The workshop ended on Thursday in Accra on the theme: “Exploring Opportunities  for Advancing the Scientific, Technological and Socio-economic Frontiers for Cocoa Production and Productivity,” and was attended by experts from Cote d’Voire, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Togo, Equador and Indonesia.

In an interview with Ghana News Agency, Dr Yaw Adu-Ampomah, Deputy Chief Executive of Agronomy and Quality Control (A&QC), said the workshop was to raise awareness of the incidence, severity and damage caused by indigenous pests and diseases and the threat of the introduction of exogenous pests and pathogens from other cocoa producing countries into Africa.

He said the workshop was also used to officially launch the start of a project implementation in the five participating countries and to agree on implementation procedures and protocols for assessing cocoa production losses due to pests and diseases.

Dr Adu-Ampomah said chemicals used in the control of pests and pathogens must conform to international standards.

He said Pest Risk Analysis should be a key component of this project to ensure effective prevention of the introduction of exogenous pests and pathogens.

He said there should be extra training of farmers to understand the principles behind recommendations for the management of pests and diseases.

Dr Adu-Ampomah said that there should be comprehensive regional emergency systems to deal with problems of pests and pathogens as and when they arose.

He also called on project implementing countries to resource their quarantine departments to effectively implement laws and protocols to prevent the introduction of exogenous pests and pathogens.

Source: GNA

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