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Hand Pollination is used to supplement natural pollination in areas where natural pollination is either irregular or deficient to increase pod development.
The Government of Ghana and Ghana Cocoa Board, as part of measures to increase productivity to over 1000kg per hectare, introduced Hand Pollination among a set of Productivity Enhancement Programmes (PEPs).
In 2017, COCOBOD launched the Hand Pollination to kick start a nationwide implementation of the novelty in an effort to increase yields and provide sustainable incomes for farmers.
Against the backdrop that in a natural setting, a cocoa tree produces between 20 to 50 pods, the hand Pollination was introduced to increase pods per tree to at least 200 pods.
REQUIREMENTS FOR HAND POLLINATION
1. A farm ear-marked for pollination must be pruned two months before it is pollinated
2. Transfer of pollen grains is aided by forceps and containers
3. Application of fertilizers is essential to support pod setting and development
It is expected that cocoa farmers will acquire the relevant skills in hand pollination to enable them pollinate their farms on their own when COCOBOD exits from engaging pollinators to undertake the activity for farmers.