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Army worm invasion will not reduce cocoa output – COCOBOD

The Ghana COCOBOD has ruled out any significant impact of the army worm infestation on the output for cocoa for the 2016/2017 crop season.

COCOBOD explains to Citi Business News it has managed the situation to prevent a widespread infestation.

The Public Affairs Manager of COCOBOD, Noah Amenyah however admitted that the pests have affected some cocoa farms in the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions.

“Because we have been treating the condition from time to time, we have that strategy to deal with the worms so the areas that have been affected have been treated and the team is standing by to address any new indication of the disease,” he told Citi Business News.

He added, “About three weeks ago, it was reported to us that the pests have surfaced in areas in the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions.”

Already, some farmers have begun counting their losses following the infestation of army worms on crops.

The Agric Ministry has since allocated funds for the spraying of affected farms to avert a disaster upon a further spread of the disease.

Despite some concerns from industry on the possible impact of the infestation on the cash crop, Mr. Amenyah reassured that the intervention should avert any such occurrences.

He was confident the affected areas would not escalate into proportions to cut down the production target for the 2016/2017 crop season.

“It has not gotten to damaging stages and not at a stage that you could quantify their damage to affecting our total production and subsequently to our loan intake.”

COCOBOD to meet target

Meanwhile the COCOBOD is highly confident that its 850,000 metric tonnes target is on course as the end of the heavy crop season has shown promising signs of attaining the target.

“Our production target is on course and we hope we will be able to pay back any loan that we may have taken to purchase cocoa,” Noah Amenyah said.

Source: citibusinessnews.com

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