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16.10.2008 General News

CSSVD organises educational rally for cocoa farmers

Mr. Albert Akomaning, Oda District Cocoa Officer, on Wednesday, advised cocoa farmers to ensure regular maintenance of their farms, coupled with regular weeding, pruning of trees and the spraying of the crop with fungicides and insecticides to ensure good yield.
"You should do this during the rainy season to sustain the crop,” he stressed, during a farmers' education rally at Abenase near Akim Oda in the Eastern Region.
The rally is organised periodically by the Ghana Cocoa Board's Control Unit of the Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease (CSSVD) to sensitise the farmers and demonstrate to them specimens of the swollen shoot virus and symptoms.
Mr. Akomaning noted that it is safe for farmers to plug any cocoa pod they detect to be infected with "Anonom", the Black Pod Disease.
Mr. Antwi Adjei, Deputy Regional Manager, CSSVD Control Unit, spoke on: “The Nature, Causes, Effects of Cocoa Swollen Shoot virus Disease and its Control in the Eastern Region and Oda District in particular.”
He said the only relieve to any diseased cocoa tree, was to cut it down.
Mr Adjei observed that no medicinal solution has been found to combat the virus that causes the swollen shoot disease.
Mr. Isaac Adu, Akroso District Cocoa Officer, who briefed the farmers on “Agronomic Practices in Cocoa Cultivation”, said farmers should construct drains at spots in their farms, which are waterlog in order to avoid killing their cocoa trees.
They should also not dry cocoa beans on the ground to avoid post-harvest losses.
Mr. Adu expressed disquiet about the low quality of cocoa beans produced by some farmers in the area and advised them to ensure the proper fermentation and drying of the beans.