Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) will shortly begin the process of handing over the management of diseased and overage cocoa plantations that have been effectively reformed to farm owners. To date, 5153785 hectares have been successfully rehabilitated.
Cocoa rehabilitation program at the national level
This follows the successful rehabilitation of hundreds of acres of cocoa swollen shoot viral disease (CSSVD)-infected farms over the course of two years under the COCOBOD and government-funded national cocoa Rehabilitation program. Ghana received a $600 million receivables-backed loan from the African Development Bank (AFDB) in 2019 to overhaul the cocoa sub-sector. With about $230 million being used to rehabilitate 156,400 hectares of diseased cocoa farms across the country.
2-day tour to Western area cocoa estates
In a statement made by COCOBOD’s Chief Executive, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, during a two-day tour to cocoa fields in the Western Region. He went to Kumikrom in the Bekwai district of the Western North Region to examine a 145.8-hectare rehabilitated cocoa field. The inspection forms part of regular field and farmer-engagement tour. During the COCOBOD Chief Executive’s regular field and farmer interaction tour to select cocoa communities, he urged farmers to use sound agronomic and agroforestry techniques to ensure that the farms produce their maximum potential without causing harm to the environment.
Ensuring that cocoa growers’ livelihoods are not jeopardized.
Aside from the primary goal of halting the disease’s spread and restoring productivity to CSSVD-affected farms, the program also protects cocoa farmers’ livelihoods and helps to ensure better food security by planting plantains, tubers, and grains during the first two years of the cocoa tree’s growth. Hundreds of thousands of jobs have also been established for the young of cocoa villages, who contribute labour and technical assistance to the farms’ rehabilitation.
It also pays each farmer with an infected farm that is being rehabilitated a sum of 1000 Ghana cedi’s per hectare. Both impacted tenant farmers and their landowners are reimbursed under the if tenancy.
Mr. Boahen Aidoo also informed the farmers that COOCBOD is planning to implement an irrigation scheme for farmers in cocoa-growing areas in order to secure a year-round supply of water for the farmlands and thus enhance productivity.
This is a way to combat drought in those places, which has resulted in the withering of most cocoa trees, stunted growth, and low output.
According to him, a well-rehabilitated farm with irrigation might yield 1809 pods per tree, or 40 bags of cocoa pods per acre, allowing them to better their living situations.
He pointed to the possibility of a fertilizer shortage as a result of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, hence COCOBOD has decided to work with farmers to implement best practices to boost output.
In addition to the irrigation system, he encouraged farmers to use fowl droppings as organic fertilizer by spreading them over their crops.
Mr Boahen Aidoo praised the farmers for their extensive tree pruning and urged them to reduce the amount of cassava planted to intersperse their farms.
He warned against using environmentally harmful farming practices such as spraying permitted pesticides on cocoa trees.
Farmers have treated a large number of hectares through pruning, weeding, and pollination with the support of the district’s 1030 rehabilitation farmhands, according to COCOBOD’s Sefwi Bekwai District officer, Frank Amamoo Antwi.