COCOA FARMERS GET SUPPORT

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About 40,000 young people have been enticed
into cocoa farming following the introduction
of the ‘Young Cocoa Farmers’ Programme’ Dr
Francis Oppong, Deputy Chief Executive
(Agronomy and Quality Control), COCOBOD,
has announced.
The programme is an intervention by the
government to fight the growing
unemployment and raise cocoa production
levels.
It involves supporting the youth, who will and go into
cocoa growing with early-bearing and yielding
seedlings, fertilizers and many other inputs. In addition, extension services and access to
credit.
Dr. Oppong, addressing the eighth National
Chocolate Day held at Krodua in the Eastern
Region encouraged more young people to take
advantage of this to own cocoa farms, adding
that, “it is more rewarding”.
The theme for this year’s event was on “Youth
in cocoa, sustaining cocoa production”.
The Deputy Chief Executive said cocoa farming
should not be seen as “a way of life but
lucrative business”.
He underlined the determination of the
COCOBOD to work hard and with passion to
significantly boost the production of the cocoa.
Dr. Oppong said that the introduction of
improved seedlings that could start bearing
fruits between two and three years, combined
with the supply of fertilizers and pesticides,
had increased the per hectare yield.
Added to this, he said, was the payment of
attractive producer prices. Per bag price of
cocoa had risen from GH¢212.00 in 2013/14
crop season to GH¢425.00 in 2015/16.
He also spoke of the setting up of district task
forces across all cocoa growing regions to
make sure that there is fairness and
transparency in the distribution of agro-inputs
to farmers. This initiative is one of the many to reduce the unemployment in the country.

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