Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, has warned cocoa farmers against the use of chemicals since this could affect cocoa production levels.
Interacting with the 2018 National Best Cocoa Farmer, Charles Gyamfi, the promising young cocoa farmer, Paul Osei Tuffuor and some award-winning cocoa farmers, Mr Boahen Aidoo said more funding will also be injected to the cocoa sector to increase yields.
He said, “As a sector, we have to cherish and do everything to sustain the production of cocoa. What we are looking for in Ghana is the sustainable production of cocoa and to do that we have to do everything possible to encourage our farmers, teach them and support them.
When weedicides and pesticides were not introduced on our cocoa farms, the farmers could easily go there and get other things apart from cocoa, and the soil was also rich but these days all the bush gifts like mushrooms have disappeared simply because of the use of chemicals,” he stated.
Ghana produced an unprecedented one million tonnes of cocoa during the 2010-11 crop season a development which was largely attributed to good weather and improved farming techniques. Production, however, declined to about 850,000 tonnes last season.
Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire have resolved to address the challenges of the cocoa sector, within the framework of the implementation of the Strategic Partnership Agreement which links the two countries, by signing the “Abidjan Declaration.”
With the two countries responsible for 60% of the world’s cocoa output, fluctuations of cocoa prices on the international market, marked by a fall of around 20% in 2017, have impacted negatively on the revenues of millions of cocoa farmers, as well as on the budgetary revenues of the two countries.
It is for this reason that Presidents Akufo-Addo and Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire, held a consultation devoted to the cocoa economy, and, subsequently, signed the “Abidjan Declaration.”