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Regional News of Friday, 21 November 2008

Source: GNA

Maintain Ghana's premium quality cocoa - farmers urged

Kumasi, Nov. 21, GNA - Mr Samuel Amponsah, Ashanti Regional Manager of the Quality Control Division of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) in Kumasi, has urged farmers to produce quality cocoa to enable Ghana retains its image as the best producer of premium quality cocoa globally.

He noted that cocoa is the "life-wire" and backbone of the economy and that it was incumbent on them to help improve the foreign exchange earnings of the country.

Mr Amponsah was addressing farmers on quality control operations organised by COCOBOD for farmers at Kunsu, near Mankranso in the Ahafo-Ano-South District of the Ashanti region on Wednesday. It aimed at educating them on the need to produce quality cocoa and also adopt modern methods of farming to improve their yield. He emphasised the need for them to ferment their cocoa beans for at least six days and dry them well before offering them for sale. Mr Agyemang advised them to ensure bad cocoa beans were removed and the good ones kept in clean sacks to avoid being infested with insects and rodents.

He asked them to use the recommended insecticides in spraying their cocoa farms at all times against black pod disease and Capsid and added that the only way to control swollen shoot disease was to cut off the coca trees for re-planting.

Mr A. Asumadu, Assistant Director at the Ahafo-Ano South Directorate of Food and Agriculture appealed to farmers to diversify their productions so as to improve their incomes. He said extension agents of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) were prepared to educate them on modern methods of farming. 21 Nov. 08

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