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General News of Thursday, 19 January 2017

Source: GhanaWeb

Government support to cocoa farmers unprecedented – Dr. Baah

Dr. Francis Baah was speaking on the sidelines of the New Year School at University of Ghana play videoDr. Francis Baah was speaking on the sidelines of the New Year School at University of Ghana

Executive director of the Cocoa Health and Extension Division at Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Dr. Francis Baah has lashed out at cocoa farmers over complaints of inadequate government support.

Speaking on the sidelines of the New Year School programme at the University of Ghana, Wednesday, Dr. Baah noted that cocoa farmers in Ghana receive the optimum aid from his outfit.

“No one should think that we’re not supporting the farmers. The level is not seen anywhere. I mean, we stand for correction, there’s nowhere in the world, cocoa or any other crop where government provides crop protection services to the level that we do in Ghana. It’s not done anywhere…” he remarked

He indicated that some farmers were wasteful with raw materials supplied them for the purposes of planting and setting up their cocoa plantations, stressing on the need for farmers to be appreciative of the freedom granted them to make critical decisions on the farm.

“We know that the level of our farmers, their resource level, we need to support them. This is a crop that the economy hinges on so we cannot leave it to the whims of farmers, we need to provide them with support and that’s what we’re doing. Farmers must appreciate that and play the complementary part..” he added

Dr. Baah however noted negligence on the part of some farmers, a factor he said has diverse negative impacts on the yields.

“We have instances where the farmer takes the seedling and if you don’t go there to prompt he will put it under a tree and will not plant. It cost us money to raise the seedlings and when you replace the old and deceased trees, it will yield. You will earn a lot of money and the government will also earn a lot of money.”

The 68th Annual New Year School and Conference was themed; Promoting National Development through Agricultural modernization: the role of ICT.

Participants of the 4-day conference were taken through ways to brace the constant challenges farmers face using ICT and also to encourage the youth to be attracted to Agriculture.

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