By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
Ghana Cocoa Board, this year spent an amount of GHc474,384 on awards for 167 farmers at various locations across the country, as part of the 2016 National Farmer’s Day celebration.
Beneficiaries of the package include cocoa, coffee and shea farmers at the District, Regional and National levels during the 2016 Farmer’s Day which took place earlier this month.
Dr. Francis Kofi Oppong, the Deputy Chief Executive in charge of Agronomy and Quality Control at the COCOBOD told the Daily Express that the initiative was to appreciate the works of these groups of people in the country.
He mentioned some of the packages received by the farmers as a brand new Toyota Hilux Pick-up for the winner, full pieces of GTP cloths, television sets, machetes, motorized spraying machines, complete set of protective clothings, litres of insecticides and plaques. Others are new tricycles, double door fridges, knapsack sprayers, pairs of hand gloves, wellington boots, CD/Radio Players among others.
He stated that there are a number of initiatives COCOBOD is implementing to enhance the farming business in the country especially for those into cocoa, coffee and shea butter businesses. “We will not stop improving the conditions of our famers,” he added.
He commended the farmers for their immense role in helping to sustain Ghana’s economy, adding that farmers work to provide the much needed food for the country and the required foreign exchange for economic growth.
Dr. Oppong advised cocoa farmers to observe good agronomic practices to ensure higher yield.
He commended all those who received the packages especially those in cocoa, coffee and shea sectors for working tirelessly to promote the production of such cash crops in the country.
Dr. Francis Kofi Oppong appealed to the youth to consider the incentives provided by COCOBOD to venture into mainstream cocoa farming. He further advised against the sale of cocoa lands for illegal gold mining activities as it posed a major threat to several interventions being rolled out to increase cocoa production.