Ghana Cocoa Board has reviewed upwards the initial treatment grant, which is part of the compensation package, for landowners and cocoa farmers who agree to cut and replant their Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus (CSSV) affected cocoa farms.
The exercise is under the on-going National Cocoa Rehabilitation Programme.
The initial treatment grant, which was pegged at GH¢552.96, has been increased to GH¢1000.00 per hectare.
Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo, the Chief Executive of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), announced this at Sefwi Wiawso in the Western North Region at a durbar of chiefs and people of Sefwi wiawso Traditional Area in honour of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who is on a three-day working visit to the Region.
Mr Aidoo said 315,800 hectares out of a total of 1.9 million hectares of cocoa farms surveyed were affected by the swollen shoot virus disease.
Out of this, the Western North Region alone had 214,500 hectares of affected farms.
He, therefore, advised landowners and cocoa farmers to allow their infected trees to be cut and re-planted with high yielding, early bearing and disease tolerant seedlings for increased and sustainable yield.
According to the Chief Executive, the cost of cutting the infected cocoa trees and re-planting would be borne by government and COCOBOD.
In addition, plantain suckers and economic trees seedlings will be supplied at no cost to the affected farmers.
Mr Aidoo stressed that no chemical could treat an infected cocoa tree unless it is cut and replanted. "Out of every five hectares of cocoa farm, two hectares are infected", he lamented.
He, therefore, urged the farmers to embrace the National Cocoa Rehabilitation Programme to forestall any decline in production output and the youth in the farming communities were engaged in the re-planting exercise to create employment for them.
The Chief Executive had earlier led the President and his entourage to tour a CSSV treated farm at Ntrentreso, a farming community near Sefwi Wiawso.