Business News of 2014-06-26

Gov’t urged to sustain cocoa programmes

The General Superintendent of the Savior Church of Ghana, Opanyin Abraham Adusei has urged government to sustain the mass cocoa spraying exercise and other support given to cocoa farmers to sustain the cocoa industry.
In his view, cocoa production could fall if government does not sustain the mass spraying exercise and other programmes, since many cocoa farmers could not afford the cost involved.
The General Superintendent, who was speaking to the GNA at Osiem, after receiving an international award from the International Cocoa Conference (ICCO) in Amsterdam over the weekend, stressed that, government support for the cocoa farmer was critical to the sustenance of the industry.
According to Opanyin Adusei, who was the 2013 National Best Cocoa Farmer, the major challenges faced by cocoa farmers are the invasion of stem borers that attack the cocoa pods and other diseases that attack the tree and the leaves.
He said it would require huge investments in the application of chemicals to control the diseases. He said it would be difficult for the ordinary cocoa farmer to meet the cost involved, and emphasized the importance of the national cocoa spraying exercise and the need for it to be strengthened to ensure that such support benefited all cocoa farmers.
He noted that, in the case of the mistletoes for instance, it needed special cutting equipment, which is expensive and so the only alternative is for one to climb the tree which is not advisable and urged government to sustain all programmes aimed at supporting the cocoa farmers.
Opanyin Adusei, won the National Best Cocoa Farmer award 2013 with over 400 acres of cocoa plantations scattered over the country with large acres in the Eastern and Western regions.
Aside his personal cocoa farms and other cash crops, the Savior Church of Ghana that he heads, also has large plantations of Cocoa, Citrus and Mango plantations among many other crops all over the country and the Church is well noted for its agriculture activity that feeds the entire country.
The ICCO at its second international meeting, awarded Opanyin Adusei, as a representative of cocoa farmers the world over, for his contribution to the growth of the cocoa industry. He was subsequently elected as the Interim Chairman of the World Cocoa Framers Association, formed at the ICCO meeting in Amsterdam recently.
Opanyin Adusei, a retired educationist, started cocoa farming alongside his teaching profession in 1979 and by the time he came on voluntary retirement, he had acquired 100 acres of cocoa plantations, which he has developed to this level.
Source: GNA
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