Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Monday said his government had instituted measures to revive the country’s cocoa sector which has seen a downward trend in the last few years.
Speaking to farmers as part of his six-day tour of the Western and Central Regions, President Akufo-Addo said the government had put measures in place to increase cocoa production from 778,000 tons to 1.5 million tons within the next four years.
“We will also ensure that cocoa farmers gain their pride of place in our society. We will make the cultivation of cocoa a source of gainful employment once again,” he told the farmers.
Ghana, the world’s No. 2 producer of cocoa after Cote d’Ivoire, had its highest production of 1 million tons of cocoa in 2011.
However, cocoa production has declined with the 2015/2016 crop season recording a production of 778,000 metric tons.
Akufo-Addo attributed the reduction in cocoa production to inefficient supply of fertilizers, chemicals, logistics, as well as the non-payment of bonuses and incentives to farmers.
These are being addressed to help farmers meet the new target, the president said.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Cocoa Board has announced that the country will from this year introduce human pollinators in its cocoa industry to enhance yields.
Through hand pollination, Ghana would be able to reverse the long period of low crop yields being experienced by farmers.
As part of the steps to increase cocoa yield, the Ghana Cocoa Board is recruiting 7,000 personnel to form the hand pollination crew that would apply pollen materials directly into the cocoa flowers across the country for increased yield. Enditem