Business News of Monday, 25 February 2013

Source: B&FT

COCOBOD cautions farmers against ‘AF confidence’

COCOBOD has said that ‘AF Confidence’ fertilizer/insecticide which is being distributed for sale to farmers is unsuitable for cocoa, warning farmers and chemical distribution companies to stay away from it.

The unapproved liquid fertilizer, which is also said to be an insecticide, has been found to contain substances inimical to cocoa production, the government body that fixes the buying price for cocoa said in a release copied to B&FT.

“Tests conducted by Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana and the Ghana Standards Authority have revealed that the fertilizer/insecticide contains Chlopyrifos and Lamda-cyhalothrin, active ingredients which are banned molecules for use on cocoa internationally.

“The continuous supply and use of the product will create problems for Ghana’s cocoa on the international market. We therefore urge all our farmers not to patronize ‘AF Confidence’ fertilizer/insecticide,” the statement cautioned.

The sale of unapproved chemicals to farmers for use on cocoa farms is a crime punishable by law; and any individual, group of persons or organizations found culpable will be dealt with accordingly, COCOBOD said.

“We wish to advise our farmers to patronize only COCOBOD-approved chemicals to improve their yields, enhance their incomes and sustain the cocoa industry. Information on approved cocoa agrochemicals can be obtained from COCOBOD officers/Extension Officers all over the cocoa districts.

"COCOBOD will continue to pursue programmes that ensure cocoa produced in Ghana meets the world’s food safety standards and is of premium quality," it added.