Madam Cecilia Adomah Yeboah, the Dormaa Central Municipal Director of Agriculture, has advised farmers to strengthen the farmers Association to be able to share their experiences.
She said that the department had low staff numbers, which was making it difficult to attend to individual farmers regularly to know their challenges.
However, the association would help the farmers to solve each other’s problems with or without the officers assistant.
Madam Yeboah made the call when Mr. Drissa Ouattara, the Dormaa Central Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), led a team of agricultural and Cocoa Health and Extension Division officers in the Municipality, to undertake a community engagement exercise at the Asunsu Dwen and Ntabene communities.
The visit allowed the team to interact with the farmers, and to learn at first hand some of their major challenges to help find solutions to them.She asked the farmers to strictly follow the laid down farming procedures and rules approved by the officers to increase yield and boost production.
Madam Yeboah said that scaling up production levels in cashew and cocoa depended on how well the farmers applied the guidance and instructions given by the officers and not by the size of farms and the number of cashew or cocoa trees in the farm.
The Municipal Director added that new methods in farming were based on and informed by research, study and investigations and urged the farmers to make it a necessity to comply with new approaches and methods in farming to avoid high cost in farm maintenance.
Mr. Drissa expressed government’s commitment and determination to support rural farmers and those in the cashew value chain towards the production of quality commodity for both the domestic and international market to earn foreign exchange for accelerated national development.
He said government was focused on rural development and the provision of basic social amenities such as roads, schools, police stations, hospitals, water and telecommunication networks in such localities.
Mr. Drissa announced that the Bono Region is working with MTN, a telecommunication service provider, to build transmitter at Danyame that would address telecommunication and poor network challenges in some parts of the Municipality.
Also, the request for the provision of school and water supply to the area was under consideration.
He expressed government’s commitment and determination to support rural farmers and those in the cashew value chain towards the production of quality commodity for both the domestic and international market to earn foreign exchange for accelerated national development.
Madam Evelyn Appiah, an extension officer with the directorate, entreated the farmers supplied with cashew seedlings to make good use of them because the Municipal Assembly had procured them at huge cost.
She asked them to give enough space about 40 feet distances in between each seedlings in a triangular form and ensure regular pruning to allow adequate sunshine on the farm to achieve the desired results.
The extension officer urged the farmers to report any unusual manifestation on their farms to the directorate to enable them to deal with the situation immediately.
Mr. Ernest Atta Kunu, Pruning Coordinator, Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED), noted that the Municipality was not producing enough cocoa due to many factors, including farmers’ failure to adhere to the advice of CHED officer in their planting, misapplication of chemicals and the lack of pruning farms.
The pruning coordinator asked the farmers to develop proper approach and have the right mindset for their cocoa farming business as the beans survival largely depended on the availability of the farmer.
He explained that an acre of land should produce between 10 and 12 bags of cocoa.
The pruning coordinator appealed to the farmers to form cooperatives to enable them to get information and regular updates from CHED.