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Chairman of the Bonsu Cocoa Village cooperative, Opanin J.B. Twumasi, has on behalf of his farmer group expressed profound appreciation to the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and the government for their initiatives and sensitisation on the need for the formation of farmer cooperatives.
Speaking to the media after a brief farm inspection tour and interaction with the Chief Executive of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Hon. Joseph Boahen Aidoo and his delegation, Opanin Twumasi admitted that the creation of cooperatives has forged a strong sense of unity among the farmers and energised them to improve on their farming activities.
He said, “when the government came into power, it assured us that it will help us, cocoa farmers. In view of that, it instructed us to form cooperatives, which will help us in diverse ways. So, we brought ourselves together to form a cooperative here and the truth is that it has fostered a strong sense of unity; energising us to do our work.”
He added that “due to the education and encouragement from our district extension officer to assist each other, particularly, during pod breaking, pod harvesting and pruning, we have come to better appreciate the need to be together. It has generated a lot of excitement within the group. So, this laudable initiative which the government through COCOBOD instituted has been helpful to us a lot in diverse ways.”
The visit by the COCOBOD Boss and a delegation of some Directors and Managers of COCOBOD is part of a three-day ongoing working tour of the Central and Eastern Regions to inspect several cocoa farms and assess the progress of the mass pruning exercise.
Opanin J.B. Twumasi, who is also a popular opinion leader for the cluster of farmer cooperatives in his community, acknowledged that COCOBOD has stayed true to its promise to farmers. “We now have machines to remove mistletoe from the trees and to easily weed our farms,” he noted. “This has made cocoa farming very enjoyable because the machines have helped ease the labour and financial costs of cocoa farming”.
He said, the dual-purpose motorized slashers and pruners which his cooperative took delivery of, has reduced the need to engage paid labour to undertake farm activities, as such, the cost of managing the farms have reduced significantly making cocoa farming more profitable for the farmers.
He confirmed that this years’ liquid fertiliser was also brought directly to his cooperative, and the leadership managed them to make sure that each member received what was due and each farmer was assisted by colleague members of the cooperative to properly apply their allocated portions on their farms.
“I want to assure the government that we have accepted the initiative. We know that it has good plans for us. As such, I want to commend the government and COCOBOD as well, especially, the extension officers who educated us and supported our efforts”.
He advised the youth to venture into the cocoa farming business because the initiatives introduced by the current management of COCOBOD, such as pruning and hand pollination, as well as, the provision of the dual purpose motorised slashers and pruners, is increasing the yields of farmers while reducing the running cost of cocoa farms. This boost in yield and fall in running cost translate into increased profit for farmers.
He thanked the Chief Executive for his guidance and leadership in transforming cocoa farming in Ghana and for forging unity among the farmers.
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