Cocoa farmers in the Ellembelle District of the Western Region were excited when the District Chief Executive (DCE) Kwasi Bonzoh told them that government had prioritized and would soon initiate the construction of deplorable roads leading to cocoa-growing communities in the district.
He explained that the move would help reduce the losses associated with the delays in transporting their produce. It would also facilitate the efficiency of cocoa evacuation in the cocoa-producing areas as well as the movement of people and food crops in those areas.
This was after the farmers had threatened to send their produce to neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire to sell if nothing was done to fix the poor roads that linked the cocoa-growing areas.
The DCE was speaking at the official inauguration of the various cooperative groups formed in each cocoa operational area in the three Nzema districts of the Western Region held at Ainyinase in the Ellembelle District.
He mentioned, for instance, that the roads at Nkroful to Menzezor and Adubrem-Akropong-Ayawora, where most of the farmers were located, were in poor condition.
He revealed that the government has taken lots of initiatives to construct about 60 kilometres (Km) of roads in the area from the latter part of this year to next year.
He disclosed that Kinspok Construction alone would be constructing 40km while the rest would be done by another contractor known as Zara Developments.
He mentioned some of the other roads to be constructed as Nyamebekyere-Sentaso which is about 20km, Gravel Yard, Basake No.2, Asomase, which is also about 20km.
He assured the farmers of the commitment of government to support the cocoa industry to ensure its enormous contribution to the general economy of the country.
He bemoaned the fact that sometimes fertilizers meant for cocoa farmers did not get to them. He was hopeful that with the formation of the groups, it would be easy for the farmers to have access to inputs meant for them, adding that “The CEO of COCOBOD has endorsed your groups”.
The Deputy Western Regional Manager of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Emmanuel Anokye, explained that the formation of the corporative groups would facilitate effective communication among members, as well as imbibe in them the spirit of hard work and good agronomic practices.
He mentioned that that COCOBOD was embarking on mass pruning exercise to allow for easy pollination which would in turn increase yield, adding that “pollination could produce 70 to about 500 cocoa pods on one tree”.
He appealed to the farmers to corporate with COCOBOD as it had started cutting down moribund or diseased cocoa trees and replacing them with disease-resistant ones.
The Ellembelle District Cocoa Officer, Daniel Evans Asempa, indicated that the coming together of the farmers to form groups makes it easier to identify and assist them with interventions and other modern technologies.
Source: Daily Guide
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