Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Cocoa Board(COCOBOD) Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo has inaugurated the Wassa Amenfi Cocoa Farmers Cooperative Union at Wassa Akropong.
The Union, which is made up of 815 registered individual cooperatives from 207 communities within the Wassa Akropong Cocoa District, has foundation membership of 52, 432 comprising 32,961 males and 19, 471 females.
Addressing the about 4,919 cooperative members, the CEO of Cocobod congratulated the farmers for forming the Union.
He said the Union was in line with Cocobod’s policy to encourage farmers to form cooperatives to easily access extension services and inputs to assist them in their cocoa farming.
He educated them on the Cocoa Rehabilitation Programme and urged cocoa farmers with infected farms to allow treatment to get rid of the Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus disease and at the same time get new farms through the support of Cocobod to replace the dying farms.
Mr Aidoo also educated them on the Productivity Enhancement Programmes like mass pruning, hand pollination, mass spraying, pilot irrigation scheme and subsidised fertiliser supply to cocoa farmers.
He touched on the Cocoa Management System Project, which is to help Cocobod and the government to have a comprehensive and accurate database on cocoa farmers in the country to facilitate and enhance planning in the cocoa sub-sector to improve upon its business processes.
He urged cocoa farmers to register when the team gets to their communities.
Inducting the eleven-member executives for a two-year term, he charged them to exhibit servant leadership skills and serve the interests of the members to increase their productivity per unit area to improve their economic fortunes.
He encouraged cocoa farmers to keep faith with the NPP government as more farmer-friendly policies would be rolled out to enhance their livelihoods.
The Chairman of the Union, Nana K. Mortey, in an address, thanked the Management of Ghana Cocobod for the innovative policies like mass pruning, hand pollination, and subsidised fertiliser policy among others, which are gradually yielding positive results and entreated them to sustain such well-thought-out interventions.
The Omanhene of Wassa Amenfi Traditional Area and President of the Western Regional House of Chiefs, Tetrete Okuamoah Sekyim II, who presided over the programme, advised the executives to be truthful and transparent in their activities to win the trust of members and to help them to achieve their objectives.
The Union presented a citation in honour of the Chief Executive Officer of Cocobod, Mr Aidoo in recognition of his hard work, which resulted in the Living Income Differential Policy (LID) and the Floor Price Policy.
The Union said the interventions made it possible for cocoa farmers to enjoy high producer price of cocoa this year beyond the expectation of many cocoa farmers.