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Business News Tue, 13 Nov 2007

Govt targets one million tonnes quality cocoa export by 2010

Samreboi (W/R), Nov. 13, GNA - One of the major objectives of the government's mass spraying cocoa spraying exercise and the cocoa high tech programme is to produce one million metric tones of good quality cocoa by the year 2010.

Mr Michael Offei-Annor, Enchi District Senior Quality Control Officer, announced this when he addressed cocoa farmers at a durbar at Samreboi in the Wasa Amenfi District of Western Region. He urged cocoa farmers to stick to the Cocoa Research Institute's approved insecticides such as Confidor, Atala and Akate master in order to keep to food safety standards.

Mr Offei-Annor warned the farmers to desist from using the insecticide Thionex to spray their cocoa farms as it was strictly recommended only for cotton treatment. He also warned purchasing clerks and depot managers to stop using hanging scales to weigh cocoa or get ready to face the full rigours of the law.

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Mr Offei-Annor commended the government for increasing scholarships to children of cocoa farmers from 2,500 to 7,500 this cocoa season and appealed to the farmers to reciprocate the government's gesture by producing good and quality cocoa for export. Mr Gordon Kenneth Tawiah, Samreboi District Quality Control Officer, urged the farmers to eschew engaging children on their farms. He said children were great assets for future development and urged the farmers to make education their priority for their children. Mr Tawiah urged community leaders to come together and enact byelaws to check recalcitrant farmers who refused to send their children school.

Mr E K Abizi, Chief Technical Assistant of the Cocoa Services Division, said Samreboi District had 62 gangs for Capsid spraying and 28 gangs for Black pod spraying, backed with 9,880 litres of Confidor and 47 litres of Premix for the mass spraying exercise. Nana Yaw Owusu, Chief of Tigarekrom, appealed to the government to pay cocoa bonuses in full and not in instalments to alleviate the plight of the farmers.

Source: GNA
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