The government is to ensure the supply and distribution of fertilisers to cocoa farmers at a subsidised price of over 50 per cent of the commodity’s open market cost through public-private-partnership agreement.
Mr. Samuel Asare Ankamah, the Deputy Brong-Ahafo Regional Manager of Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED) of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) said at a farmers’ sensitisation rally held by the CHED on Friday at Danyame in the Dormaa Central Municipality of Brong-Ahafo Region.
“The subsidising of the market value of fertiliser at GH¢180.00 to be sold to farmers at GH¢80.00 will help check the corruption characterising the delivery and distribution of the items in the sector and check its smuggling to neighbouring countries,” he stated.
Mr. Ankamah said the measure was also to ensure fair and equitable distribution of fertilisers to farmers, make them accessible and prevent the unnecessary diversion of the items through stringent biometric registration procedure and processes.
He said the cocoa industry was currently facing challenges, noting that had significantly contributed to the inability of the regulatory agency, COCOBOD to meet production targets.
The challenges, Mr. Ankamah mentioned included old cocoa trees, ageing farmers and reduction in mass spraying exercise.
He said new policy to boost production of cocoa involved formation of task force at growing centres to take charge of delivery of chemicals for the mass spraying exercise, introduction of irrigation schemes for farmers and artificial pollination in cocoa growing areas which is currently on-going.
Others measures under the policy included growing economic trees in cocoa farms to check cocoa trees dying during the dry season and engaging youth groups in cocoa farming.
Mr. David Afriyie Gyebi, the Officer in -charge of CHED in the Dormaa Municipality, said Danyame had been selected as a nursery site for cocoa to check the long distances from which farmers had to travel from to Dormaa-Ahenkro to collect seedlings.