About 500 cocoa farmers from the Nsawam-Adoagyiri Municipality in the Eastern Region have taken delivery of 100,000 seedlings and quantities of fertiliser for this year’s planting season.
The beneficiary communities are Pakro, Out Kwadwo, Fahiako, Asiawkrom and Ahyirensu-Yeboakrom.
Mr. Michael Gyasi, the Suhum Cocoa District Officer, speaking to farmers at Pakro explained that with the change in rain pattern farmers will readily plant the seedlings, adding that the application of the ‘Lithovit Foliarar’ (liquid) fertiliser on their farms, under the programme, is also on course.
Mr. Gyasi said the rationale for free distribution of seedlings and fertilisers to cocoa farmers is to help increase their yield; ease their financial burdens; and curb the decline of cocoa production.
He explained that the Health and Extension Service, the implementing unit, has put in place measures to fast-track distribution.
“Farms infested with the cocoa swollen-shoot virus do not qualify for the fertiliser package. Farmers must cut down such trees and plant new seedlings.
“Prior to distribution of the items the beneficiaries were registered by the Health and Extension Service of Cocobod, which measured their farms to determine allocation per farmer to help promote prudent usage of fertiliser.”
Mr. Gyasi said farmers have since inception of the exercise been educated on the consequences of diverting the allocation of inputs, fertilisers.
Opanin Alex Appiah, Pakro Chief Farmer, described the gesture as wonderful and expressed optimism that cocoa farmers in the area will work hard — ensuring that they collaborate effectively in helping boost Cocobod’s efforts to meet the target of one million metric tonnes of cocoa produced as the years roll by.
He also urged other farmers to heed the advice given them by the cocoa extension officers on the use of cocoa fertiliser to help achieve the desired results, as this is a unique contribution for poverty alleviation.
Thousands of cocoa farmers from the Suhum, and West Akim Municipalities had earlier taken delivery of their consignments.