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25.04.2004 Regional News

DCE seeks the help of LBCs to recover cost of hi-tech inputs

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Tarkwa (W/R), April 25, GNA - Licensed Cocoa Buying Companies (LBCs) who sponsored individual farmers during the first phase of the Cocoa hi-tech programme in the Wassa West district have been requested to deduct the cost of inputs for each farmer and pay same into a special account of the programme.

Mr Emmanuel Kwesi Ayensu, District Chief Executive (DCE) of Wassa West, said the measure had become necessary due to the exceptionally low recovery rate among beneficiary farmers in the district. The DCE who made the request at the first ordinary meeting of the second session of the district assembly at Tarkwa on Friday however did not elaborate.

He expressed fears that the district may not benefit from the second phase of the programme if nothing was done to improve the recovery rate.

Mr Ayensu noted that the hi-tech programme, which was beneficial and helped to increase cocoa yield to improve farmers incomes is still on a pilot basis and nothing should be done to jeopardise its full implementation.

Under the cocoa hi-tech programme, selected farmers were provided with fertilizer, insecticides and other inputs for which they were supposed to pay for, after selling their produce. This, and the mass cocoa-spraying programme were said to have accounted for the record production in the country last major cocoa season.

"It is sad to state that in view of the low recovery rate from the farmers who were selected to the pilot programme, the district stands the risk of not benefiting from the second phase of the programme," the DCE said.

Mr Ayensu also urged chief farmers to impress upon their members on the need for them to pay for the inputs. "After all, they benefited from the first phase and stands to benefit even more from the second phase." 25 Apr. 04

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