Government is assisting cocoa farmers in the country to combat the Capsid and the Black Pod disease, through a programme aimed at training them on the cultural and chemical methods of pests and diseases control.A cocoa farmer in Amankwaatia, Ghana

The government through Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), initiated a National Cocoa Disease and Pest Control (CODAPEC) programme, popularly called ?Mass Spraying,? as part of efforts to arrest the decline in cocoa production in the country.
Mr. Michael Gyasi, Suhum Municipal Officer in-charge of the Cocoa Health and Extension Division, made these disclosures in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Suhum.
?The programme also educates and trains local sprayers on safe pesticides usage, while it helps put more money in the pockets of farmers, and creates jobs for the unemployed youth in the rural communities,? he said.
Mr. Gyasi explained that ?Model Farm? was Fertilizer Distribution, CODAPEC or Mass Spraying Exercise and Treatment of Swollen Shoot Trees.

He pointed out that registered farms were entitled to free fertilizers.
He said those qualified for free fertilizers were disease-free farms, saying, every farm holdings of one acre receives three bags of fertilizers.
According to the Municipal Officer, about 960 cocoa farmers from 20 communities in the Suhum Municipality and Ayensuano District of the Eastern Region, attended farmers rally on ?Model Farm?, to help prepare them for the 2014/15 cocoa season which opened in October.
At those rallies, Mr. Gyasi said, he briefed participants on the need to cut down all diseased cocoa trees for replanting and rehabilitation of farms which were over 30 years and above,
And that: ?Free ammonia, seedlings, shade trees and plantain suckers shall be supplied to farmers with farm holdings of 0.50 hectares (1.25 acres and above)?.
He advised cocoa farmers in the country to follow directives given them by cocoa extension officers in their areas, on the use of cocoa fertilizers, to help them increase productivity.



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