Cocoa farmers urged to seek advice from extension officers

Brekumanso (E/R)� The Deputy Eastern Regional Manager of the Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED), Mr Ebenezer Gyekye Owusu has urged cocoa farmers to seek advice from extension officers to boost their production.

Extension Officers are the link between the farmers and researchers. Any research that comes out, the CHED will pass on the information to the farmers and when the farmers have any problem, it is the extension officers who will send it to the researchers for the problem to be resolved ”, he said.

He said the extension officers are well trained with the necessary techniques and are doing their best to impart that to the farmers, but most farmers seem to rely on the old farming methods.

He appealed to cocoa farmers to discard the old ideas of farming and heed the advice of the extension officers and adopt new technologies developed from research to improve cocoa production.

Mr Gyekye was speaking at a cocoa farmers rally, organized by the Asamankese Cocoa district at Brekumanso.

The rally was aimed at educating the farmers on best practices that would help increase cocoa productivity.

He advised the farmers to seek knowledge from the extension officers on the best agronomy practices to boost their production.

Mr Gyekye said 20,000 personnel will be employed to undertake a pollination exercise across various cocoa farms nationwide from May to December.

He said the Eastern Region will employ 2,512 pollinators for this year’s exercise to cover 12,560 farms.

He said COCOBOD will continue distributing free seedlings to farmers, carry out the mass spraying exercise and undertake the pruning exercise.

Mr Gyekye said the mass spraying will begin in April till May and then resumes in September to October.

He said Government has provided all the necessary logistics to undertake the mass spraying exercise and advised the farmers to clear their farms before the sprayers begin the exercise.

This interventions and other practices, he said, formed part of government’s measures to boost cocoa production and ensure a bumper harvest that would hit the targeted 1 million tons

The Assembly member for Brekumanso Electoral Area and the Presiding Member, Lower West Akyem, Mr Kwesi Baah, said Government had employed 1,200 graduates, as part of efforts to improve extension services to support the cocoa industry.

He acknowledged the contribution of cocoa farmers and farmers in general for the growth of the economy.

Source: Ghana News Agency