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General News Sun, 1 Aug 2010

Volta Region to host this year's Cocoa Day

Hohoe, Aug 1, GNA - Volta Region is to host to this year's Cocoa Day on October 1st at a place yet to be named, Alhaji Abubakar Alhassan, National Chief Cocoa, Coffee and Sheanut Farmer has announced.

He said the Day, instituted by the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), was to create public awareness of the socio-economic significance and production challenges of the produce to the population, especially to players in the industry.

Alhaji Alhassan, who announced this at a durbar of Volta Region Association of Cocoa, Coffee and Sheanut Farmers on Sunday, said activities for the Day include durbars, lectures and exhibitions throughout the country.

He called on stakeholders and people of the Region to position themselves to participate fully in the event.

Nana Adjei Damoah, National Deputy Chief Farmer said smuggling was destroying the cocoa industry in the Volta Region. He added that as a result, currently COCOBOD grants only two scholarships in the Region.

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He noted that cocoa production of many districts in the country exceeded the total output from the Region stating that Enchi in the Brong Ahafo Region alone qualified for 129 scholarships this year.

Nana Damoah indicated that the phenomenon of cocoa smuggling had become a national security concern, which called for multi-sectoral approach to address the problem.

The cocoa farmers during an open forum suggested a time-tested solution to the problem by demanding accountability from the farmers.

They indicated that technical experts of COCOBOD, who knew the farms and could estimate yields in term of bags, after enjoying government interventions, should be prosecuted for failure to produce the yields.

They pledged to cooperate with any interventions aimed at addressing the menace.

Source: GNA
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