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President Akufo-Addo re-launches CODAPEC | Ghana News Agency (GNA)

By
Mildred Siabi-Mensah, GNA

Dansokrom(WR), Aug. 10, GNA – President Addo
Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced various interventions put up by the government
to revive the once vibrant cocoa industry and attract more youth into the
sector to aid rapid socio-economic growth.

He said the government, as a first step, had
been able to clear a debt of 20 billion dollars before the August deadline and
thereby making national savings of over 400,000 dollars, which could have been a
penalty.

Other interventions included the purchase of
weeding and plugging machines, the employment of more than 10,000 Ghanaians who
had been trained on introduction of hand pollination and the re-introduction of
mass cocoa spraying, officials to ensure proper crop handling to increase
yields and economic returns.

The President announced these interventions
during the re-launch of the Cocoa Diseases and Pests Control Programme
(CODAPEC) by the Ghana COCOBOD at Dansokrom a suburb of Sefwi Wiawso in the
Western Region.

President Akuffo-Addo was in the Region to
officially express gratitude to the people of the Western North in particular
and the Region in general for the massive support and voting of the New
Patriotic Party into power in the December 2016 general elections.

According to the COCOBOD, recent studies had
shown that the constant use of chemicals such as the weedicides and herbicides
to clear the land for cultivation was gradually affecting the potency of the
soil as well as yields and described the current production rate as unpleasant.

The President prayed that the numerous
interventions would help the country to produce not less than 1.5 million
tonnes of cocoa in the shortest possible time.

The mass cocoa spraying exercise would
commence early September and may engage more than 20,000 people to carry out
the duty of reviving the cocoa industry.

Mr. Joseph Boahene Aidoo , Chief Executive
Officer of COCOBOD said one hectare of cocoa farm though elsewhere may produce
2000 kilogrammes of cocoa, Ghana did 450 kilogrammes, adding, “Our
interventions and fertilizers is going to ensure that a tree can carry between
100 to 200 pods”.

He said plans were far advanced to bring
irrigation systems to most demonstration farms to ensure all year planting.

He encouraged the youth to take advantage and
become part of the cocoa industry, adding that the African Development Bank in
collaboration with the government of Ghana has instituted some funds to
encourage the youth in cocoa farming and agriculture in general.

Mr. Aidoo on the other hand advised cocoa
farmers to make good use of the fertilizers given them at a subsidized price
rather than transport them to neighbouring countries to increase cocoa yields
to the detriment of the country.

On the sidelines of the official launch was
the durbar with chiefs and people of the Sefwi Wiawso area, Wassa Akropong and
Denkyira-Obausi .

GNA

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