More than 300 youth who are into cocoa farming in the Assin South District of the Central Region are receiving training on cocoa-hand-pollination, targeted at increasing cocoa yield across the country.
Hand pollination, also known as mechanical pollination is a technique that can be used to pollinate plants when natural or open pollination is either undesirable or insufficient. This method of pollination is done by manually transferring pollen from one plant to the other.
Addressing trainees at Assin-Adeambra on Friday, Mr. Derrick Owusu Ambrose, the District Chief Executive (DCE), said the one-month training programme was essential to build their capacity in educating cocoa farmers on best practices to sustain their farms.
He was optimistic that the artificial pollination initiative will significantly increase cocoa production and income of farmers.
It formed part of various interventions put up by the Government towards reviving the cocoa industry, regarded as the backbone of Ghana’s economy from pre-colonial times to date.
Key among the interventions included the purchase of weeding and plugging machines, the employment of more than 10,000 trainers on hand pollination and the re-introduction of mass cocoa spraying exercise, all in an effort to increase yields and ensure good economic returns.
The DCE advised the farmers to see farming as a business with good returns and invest their resources into it and advised the youth to take advantage of Government’s instituted funds for the youth and venture into cocoa farming and agriculture in general.
They were to make good use of the fertilizers given them at a subsidized price rather than transport them to neighbouring countries to the detriment of the country.
He called on cocoa farmers to give strong support to the exercise to boost crop yield.
Mr. Ambrose acknowledged the contribution of cocoa farmers and farmers in general for the growth of the economy.
Mr Enoch Anson, the District Focal Extension Agent appealed to cocoa farmers to discard the old ideas of farming and heed the advice of the extension officers by adopting new technologies developed from research to improve cocoa production.
He said COCOBOD will continue distributing free seedlings to farmers and carry out the mass spraying and the pruning exercises and advised the farmers to clear their farms to ease their work