Farmers in the cocoa growing areas of the Western North region have been given a new lease of life following Ghana Cocoa Board rehabilitation programme being implemented in the cocoa growing communities to combat Cocoa Swollen shoot virus diseases
Ghana Cocoa Board has directed to clear all cocoa trees with infections and replace them with new hybrid Cocoa seedlings.
Prince Philip Akwensie, District Extension Coordinator, Cocoa Health and Extension Division, sefwi Boako District disclosed to our Regional correspondent Mark Asante in an exclusive interview.
Akwensie said the Western North region used to contribute one third of cocoa production in Ghana but has now lost in the race due the swollen shoot disease.
He says if the current situation is not salvaged, nothing will be left for the farmers and the industry in the next ten years.
He says, Ghana Cocoa Board has supplied free plantain suckers to the affected Cocoa farmers to use as shade to protect the new cocoa hybrid seedlings against drought. After two years of monitoring the farms will be handed over to their owners at no cost.
Philip Akwensie says Cocoa Board has also decided to make compensation of GH¢ 1,000 per hectare to all affected farmers.
400,000 cocoa seedlings have been supplied to 391 farmers that were affected.
One of the affected farmers, Thomas Mintah speaks to Nkyeremu New.
Filed by Mark Asante