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The Western Regional House Of Chiefs has expressed their confidence in the set of interventions deployed by the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to curtail the spread of the Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease (CSSVD) and return the country to a state of a steady rise in cocoa production.
Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II, the Omanhene of Sefwi Anhwiaso and President of the Western Regional House of Chiefs, said though he is saddened by the state of affairs in the Western North Region where the toil of many cocoa farmers have been brought to nought by the deadly CSSVD, he is convinced that the rehabilitation efforts and hand pollination will achieve their intended outcome.
Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II made these statements when the Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Hon. Joseph Boahen Aidoo, two of his deputies and other executives of the cocoa authority paid a courtesy call of the Western Regional House of Chiefs to explain the programmes being rolled out to help cocoa farmers and the industry as a whole.
“We all know how cocoa production has fallen, particularly, in the Western North where we know that a lot of cocoa is produced in Ghana,” the Omanhene bemoan, “but we’ve all seen also that this Chief Executive and his team have taken the matter very seriously.”
“I am confident”, he added, “that having identified the problem and the solutions, it will not take more than two years from now because when you look at the impact of hand pollination and the rehabilitation program, you can see that production will go up again.
Ghana is cocoa, and so, we ought to do everything we can to save it from any kind of destruction,” he asserted.
In his address to the House of Chiefs, which was sitting for the last time as a body constituted by all the chiefs of the old Western Region (which has since been divided into two regions), the COCOBOD Boss Hon. Joseph Boahen Aidoo was thankful to the chiefs for their endorsement of COCOBOD’s efforts to solve the CSSVD crisis in the cocoa sector.
He mentioned that he was particularly grateful to the traditional authorities for facilitating the rehabilitation programme by allowing tenant farmers, many of who farm on stool lands, to retain the use of their lands when diseased trees are cut.
Hon. Boahen Aidoo went on to paint a picture of the present state of the cocoa sector, and how the various interventions and programmes work together to resolve present challenges while safeguarding future gains for cocoa farmers, their communities and the country at large.
He explained how the cocoa rehabilitation programme will stop the spread of CSSVD; how the present set of Productivity Enhancement Programmes, including mass pruning, hand pollination and irrigation will foster rapid growth in cocoa yields, as well as, the rationale behind the Living Income Differential (LID) as a means to significantly increase farmer incomes.
He also touched on the processes which have taken place to make possible the cocoa farmer pension scheme which will be launched on 1st October. He entreated the traditional authorities to join in the campaign to encourage more local consumption of cocoa. He also informed them of the various roads which have been awarded for construction under the cocoa roads programme.
The President of the Western Regional House of Chiefs, who along with other members of the House of Chiefs gave glowing remarks of Hon. Boahen Aidoo’s presentation insisted that the recording of the presentation should be made available to the House so that they will in turn use it to educate farmers on the programmes and interventions.
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