The Ghana COCOBOD has begun free distribution of fertilizers and chemicals to selected cocoa farmers across the country, as part of an aggressive drive to increase crop yield.
This also ties with the overall strategy to revamp cocoa production levels to hit the one million metric tonnes target, and take advantage of the expected high demand of the product on the world market.
About 1.6 million bags of fertilizer and large quantity of chemicals are being supplied under the intervention.
Twenty-four thousand (24,000) hectares of cocoa plantations comprising 2,000 farms in the Ashanti Region would benefit.
Dr Francis Baah, Executive Director, Cocoa Health and Extension Division of COCOBOD, announced this at a meeting with district cocoa chief and queen farmers, extension officers, cocoa quality control officers and District Chief Executives (DCEs) in cocoa-growing districts in Kumasi, on Tuesday.
The meeting was to brief them on the new strategy and restructuring of the “CODAPEC/HITECH” District Task force, the body responsible for the distribution of inputs, and management of the cocoa mass spraying gangs, for efficient performance.
Dr Baah said the goal is to streamline the distribution of cocoa inputs from the warehouse to the community level, to reduce diversion and smuggling of cocoa fertilizers and chemicals to neighbouring countries.
The task force would now be chaired by the district cocoa officers, and not the DCEs.
Dr Baah said all these were being done to support farmers to increase cocoa output.
Mr George Okyere, Deputy Director of CODAPEC, said the intervention would help the beneficiary farmers to apply the requisite amount of chemicals and other inputs to achieve optimal crop yield.
It is also to motivate them to adopt good agronomic practices.
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