Mr Albert Akomaning, Oda District Cocoa Officer (DCO), has educated cocoa farmers in the area on the control and management of the black pod disease known in Twi as “Anonom”.
He said it was safer to plug any cocoa pod infected with the black pod on the farm, which was a safer means to increase yield.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Akim Oda in the Eastern Region on Wednesday, Mr Akomaning noted that farmers needed to prune the branches of other trees that might disturb the cocoa tree.
He stressed: "You should do this during the rainy season to sustain the trees, because when done in summer, it is certain that the trees would die".
Mr Akomaning touched on the good effect of some of the chemicals used for spraying cocoa farms, like the agronomy and CODAPEC and added that these chemicals were not only to facilitate the work of the spraying gang, but also a well harvested beans.
He expressed worry about the quality of the cocoa beans produced by some farmers in the area and advised them to strictly follow the process of the fermentation.
Mr Akomaning said for the country to continue to sell its cocoa beans at a premium, there was the need for farmers to thoroughly dry the beans so as to achieve the needed quality.
He was emphatic that the Ghana Cocoa Board's Control Unit of the Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease (CSSVD) in the Eastern Region, which detected a good number of cocoa trees infected with swollen shoot virus disease, periodically organised rallies for the farmers.
Mr Akomaning said the CSSVD Control Unit's rallies for the cocoa farmers, really enhanced their skills and improved their cocoa yields. He appealed to farmers to tolerate the treatment of the virus.
He noted that years back, Oda and its surrounding towns and villages could boast of high cocoa production in the Eastern Region, whereas the trend had declined due to the swollen shoot disease.