Dr Emmanuel Dwomo, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD in charge of Agronomy, has urged Cocoa farmers and stakeholders in the Cocoa industry to support the Cocoa farms rehabilitation Programme to derive the needed results.
Dr Dwomo made the call in an interview with the Ghana News Agency as part of his four-day tour of the Western North Region to ascertain the progress of the Cocoa Programme.
The visit took him to Sefwi-Bekwai, Akontombra, Juaboso,Bodi and Sefwi-Esssm.
He said the Western North Region used to produce almost half of the country's total cocoa production, but had reduced because of the cocoa swollen shot disease in the area, hence the need to support the Cocoa farms rehabilitation Programme to help improve on Cocoa production in the area.
He expressed satisfaction in the Programme and commended the leadership of COCOBOD and workers under the rehabilitation Programme for the success of the Programme, saying that what was done so far would increase the cocoa yield in the next two years.
Dr Dwomo announced that COCOBOD had increased the contract works under the programme from three months to one year to ensure job security and motivate the farmers to work harder.
He said weeding gangs under the programme would also be increased with the provision of additional Personal Protective Equipment to make the work more attractive and urged the farmers to give of their best.
“COCOBOD will soon pay social security and hospital bills of workers under the programme to secure them their future”, he added
He said COCOBOD was determined to make the Cocoa rehabilitation Programme a success to get more Cocoa beans for processing and exports.
Dr Dwomo also advised farmers to allow their cocoa trees affected by the Cocoa swollen shoot disease to be cut since that was the only way to treat the diseased cocoa trees.
The Deputy Chief Executive Officer further advised farmers and stakeholders not to politicize the Cocoa farms rehabilitation Programme and Cocoa issues since Cocoa was the backbone of Ghana's economy.