Cocoa Farmers in Aiyinasi-North appeal to COCOBOD to address challenges

By P. K. Yankey

Asomase (W/R), April 26, GNA – Cocoa farmers at Asomase in the Aiyinasi District of the Western-South Cocoa Region, have appealed to COCOBOD to address issues facing farmers in cocoa production.

The farmers raised teething problems such as poor road network, low producer price of cocoa, insufficient insecticide and fungicide teams, late supply of fertilizers to farmers.

The rest of the challenges are high cost of farming inputs, farmers inability to access cocoa scholarships for their children, inaccessibility to COCOBOD’s subsidized fertilizer and labour challenges.

The farmers raised these concerns at a Special Rally with the Western-South Regional Manager of COCOBOD, Mr Samuel Osei and his team when they met cocoa farmers at Asomase in the Aiyinasi District of the Western South Cocoa Region.

Addressing their concerns, Mr Samuel Osei educated them on COCOBOD’s intervention to revamp the cocoa sector.

He mentioned the Cocoa Disease and Pest Control (CODAPEC) programme by COCOBOD to deal with cocoa trees affected by the swollen shoot or black pod disease.

The Western-South Regional Manager also mentioned COCOBOD’s intervention in prudent farming practices such as rehabilitation, pruning and artificial hand pollination.

Mr Osei expressed wary of cocoa smuggling into neighbouring country, La Cote D’ivoire and assured farmers of measures to curb the practice.

The COCOBOD Manager also educated the farmers on the Cocoa Farmers Pension scheme being rolled out by COCOBOD to improve standard of living in their old age and raised an eyebrow on the cutting down of cocoa trees for rubber plantation and discouraged the practice.

The COCOBOD Manager ‘s attention was also drawn to child labour issues in the cocoa industry and advised the farmers to desist from the practice.

In all, the farmers were satisfied with responses and support COCOBOD continued to give them, but expectant of price increase to enable them stay in business.