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Cocoa farming is a business and not a culture – WCFO

By
Bertha Badu-Agyei, GNA
    

Osiem (E/R), July 21,
GNA – Opanyin Abraham Adusei, the Global President of the World Cocoa Farmers
Organisation (WCFO), has urged cocoa farmers to see their farms as business and
not a cultural way of doing things.

He said cocoa farming
was a profitable business venture yet majority of cocoa farmers wallowed in
poverty and not able to give their children the best of education.

“They see cocoa
farming as a living culture and therefore do not invest and embrace new
trends,” he noted.

According to Opanyin
Adusei, who was the 2013 National Best Cocoa Farmer, many cocoa farmers refused
to apply the necessary and appropriate chemicals to increase their yield, and
adhere to good practices especially in drying the cocoa fruits after harvesting
leading to huge loss of income.

Speaking at the first
anniversary of the Saviour Church Ghana Cocoa Farmers Association at, Osiem, in
the Eastern Region Opanyin Adusei who is also the Superintendent of the
mission, said experience had shown that many cocoa farmers did not gain enough
from their toils because of bad farming practices when it came to the planting
and drying of the pods after harvesting.

The Saviour Church of
Ghana, headquartered at Osiem, has large hectares of cocoa plantations
scattered over Ashanti, Western, Brong-Ahafo, Central, Volta and the Eastern
regions and is one of the major producers of cocoa in Ghana.

He noted that the
world over, cocoa farmers did not have a say in the pricing of their products,
despite the fact that the crop was the bedrock of the economy of their various
countries.

Opanyin Adusei said
the WCFO was formed to bridge the gap to ensure that “cocoa farmers who are the
producers of the raw material are given a say in the pricing”.

The Global President
who is a former Member of the Council of State, called on the youth especially
unemployed graduates to give a second thought to cocoa farming as a job because
it had a lot of benefits and guaranteed a sound livelihood and future.

On the price of cocoa
this year, he said farmers were expecting an increment considering the cost of
inputs and other logistics in farming.

Dr Frank Amoah, the
Director of the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG), who commended the
Church for its contribution to the cocoa industry and the economy at large,
said the objectives of the WCFO was very critical to the cocoa industry because
the sub-standard practices in the sector was worrying.

He said the European
Union regulation was to set a standard for cabon levels in cocoa very soon and
in order not to be affected he advised the cocoa farmers to use only CRIG
approved chemicals and cocoa seedlings.

Reverend Dr Emmanuel
Clottey, the Deputy Director of the Cocoa Health and Extension Division, said
efforts were being made to pollinate about 50,000 farms.

He urged the
Association to embrace the policy because it had the potential to increase
yields, explaining that 39 bags of cocoa could be attained per a hectare if
well pollinated.

GNA

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