The District Chief Executive of Upper Denkyira West in the Central Region, Agyeman Asiedu, has appealed to the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to train cocoa farmers to undertake pruning and hand pollination of their own farms to complement the effort of hired personnel.
“Many of the individual farmers are ready to be trained on how to properly prune their own farms. I’m convinced that if COCOBOD will turn their attention to this, it will be very helpful,” he opined.
“If a farmer thinks he/she can perform those activities, COCOBOD can then provide the training. When the farmer is fully trained, he/she will not have to wait on anyone but go ahead to take care of the farm. This, I believe will also help COCOBOD save money.”
The Upper Denkyira West DCE offered the suggestion when the Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, participated in a cocoa farmer rally at Diaso in the Central Region as part of a three-day working tour to cocoa-growing areas.
Pruning and hand pollination are two new innovations under COCOBOD’s Productivity Enhancement Programmes (PEPs).
Presently, COCOBOD hires thousands of people – mostly otherwise unemployed youth – in cocoa -growing areas to prune and hand pollinate cocoa farms.
These hired personnel after training, move from one farm to the other to prune and hand-pollinate them.
Responding to Mr. Agyeman Asiedu’s appeal, Mr Boahen Aidoo said his outfit has already commenced the training of cocoa farmers on PEPs and proper farm management.
He, however, acknowledged that the hired personnel are not able to work on all farms each season due to the sheer number of cocoa farms in the country.
“So, indeed COCOBOD has already noticed the need to train more people and spread the knowhow on pruning and hand pollination,” he stated
Mr Boahen Aidoo added that the farmers themselves, their labourers, caretakers and managers should avail themselves to COCOBOD’s training programmes, stressing that anyone can be trained to properly prune cocoa trees, whiles anyone with study hands and good eyesight can as well be trained to hand pollinate cocoa trees.
COCOBOD, he said, will increase its sensitization and organize more training exercises.
He encouraged cooperatives to hire personnel and farmers to join the training exercises.
By Eric Yaw Adjei|3news.com|Ghana