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Cocoa farmers to receive spaying chemicals directly
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General News of Sunday, 9 August 2009

Source: GNA

Cocoa farmers to receive spaying chemicals directly

Asamankese, Aug. 9, GNA - Dr Yaw Adu-Ampomah, a Deputy Chief Executive of the Ghana COCOA Board (COCOBOD), has announced that as from this year, cocoa framers in the Western and Central Regions would be supplied directly with fungicides and insecticides for the spraying of their farmers.

He said the initiative was to minimize the diversion of the chemicals and to ensure that all farms were adequately sprayed. Dr Adu-Ampomah was speaking at the last of training programmes started last month for CODAPEC gang supervisors, at Asamankese in the Eastern Region on Saturday.

He announced that about 6,000 gang supervisors and district chief farmers had been trained under the Black Pod and Capsid Programme in the six cocoa regions of the country.

It was aimed at increasing knowledge and improving skills of participants to enable them to effectively help cocoa farmers to increase yield so that the COCOBOD could attain its one million tones of cocoa target by 2010/2011.

Dr Adu-Ampomah said the Black Pod spraying programme started in May this year in some districts and by June all cocoa growing areas had started with the exercise and it would end in October. He also said "The Capsid spraying programme has also just started from Monday August 3, 2009 and it would continue till the end of December this year".

Dr Adu-Ampomah said fungicides, insecticides, hand spraying machines, motorized spraying machines and premix fuel and other inputs had been distributed to the cocoa districts in the country. He said COCOBOD would provide protective materials such as overall dresses, Wellington boots, hats, nose mask and hand gloves to ensure the safety of sprayers.

Dr Adu-Ampomah said more gangs would be recruited if the financial situation of COCOBOD improves.

He reminded the sprayers that the CODAPEC programme was sacrificial and they should avoid pilfering of inputs, extortion of monies from farmers, discrimination against farmers, lateness to work and absenteeism. Dr Ampomah urged cocoa farmers to weed their farms and apply fertilizer to their cocoa trees at the right time and to assist the sprayers, to increase yield.

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