23.09.2004 Regional News

COCOBOD to rehabilitate cocoa sheds

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Sunyani, Sept 23, GNA - Ghana Cocoa Marketing Board (COCOBOD) is to rehabilitate 150 cocoa sheds in the Brong-Ahafo Region as part of a nation-wide exercise in cocoa growing areas.

Mr Yaw Nti, the Brong-Ahafo Regional Manager of Produce Buying Company (PBC) told a meeting with cocoa farmers that the exercise, which had already begun in Eastern, Ashanti and Western regions, was aimed at ensuring that cocoa bought by the company was stored in good condition before shipment.

He did not mention the cost of the rehabilitation exercise but said COCOBOD would build new 50-tonne capacity sheds to replace the existing 300-tonne ones.

Mr Nti said out of the 700,000 tonnes of cocoa produced last year the Brong-Ahafo Region contributed 42 percent and PBC bought 39 percent of the region's produce.

He advised purchasing clerks of the company to be wary of add-mixer cocoa beans that came mostly from Cote d'Ivoire because when detected the clerks would be made to pay for the loss.

The Regional Manager said the COCOBOD had started replacing old weighing scales with new ones to avoid manipulation by some purchasing clerks.

Mr Nti assured the farmers that the PBC was liasing with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and other stakeholders to make available spraying machines to enable individual farmers to supplement the government's mass spraying exercise.

Nana Anthony Akore Korsah, Sunyani Municipal Chief farmer of PBC, said the association bought 110,000 cocoa pods for distribution to members to expand their farms.

"The Association has also acquired a plot of land to undertake a cocoa nursery project of 50,000 seedlings", he said and that the association had targeted the production of 150,000 cocoa seedlings for distribution to the farmers next year

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