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Cocoa farmers asked to use only prescribed insecticides on their farms   
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Mr George Okyere, a Senior Quality Control Manager of the Quality Control Company, has urged cocoa farmers to desist from using unapproved insecticides on their farms to control cocoa diseases.

According to him using such dangerous insecticides on the farms does not only damage their cocoa trees but could affect the health of the consumers of the cocoa product.

Mr Okyere said this at a day’s sensitization workshop on Sanitary Phytosanitary Project at Assin Foso in the Central Region.

Two hundred and twenty-seven cocoa farmers from Breman Asikuma, Jukwa, Cape Coast, Beraku and Assin Foso Cocoa districts attended the workshop.

The workshop was organized by Quality Control Company of COCOBOD with sponsorship from ICCO, EDES, COLEACD, CROPLIFE, and UNIDO and it was aimed at sensitizing the farmers to apply prescribed insecticides on their farms to enable them to produce quality cocoa beans.

Mr Okyere mentioned Confidor, Akate Master and Actra as the only approved insecticides by COCOBOD and Sidalco, Glyfos and Roundup as the only prescribed chemicals to control weeds on their farms.

He disclosed that the European Union had detected that some cocoa beans from some cocoa growing countries in Africa applied unapproved chemicals and insecticides on their cocoa.

It was in this respect that the workshop had been sponsored by these groups for the farmers to educate them to stop such practices to avoid rejection of cocoa beans from the Sub-region on the world market, he said.

He appealed to the farmers to adhere to advise given them by the Cocoa extension officers to enable them to produce good quality cocoa beans to meet the world market standards.

Mr Vincent Odzawa and Mr Kwesi Bediako-Esson from Quality Control Company who were the resource persons, took the participants through topics including "Traceability Importance in Food Safety and Hygiene," Safe Use of Plants Protection Equipment," and "Identifying Key Areas of Risk for Contamination in the Production of Cocoa."

Nana Kwesi Ofori, Central Regional Cocoa Chief farmer, advised the farmers to form groups so as to benefit from farmer based organization support programmes.

Mr Richard Ankamah, Central Regional Manager of Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease Control Unit of COCOBOD, said the mass cocoa spraying exercise and the hi-tech project should be seen as a prgramme to boost cocoa production.
Source: GNA

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