Dunkwa-on-Offin (C/R) April 7, GNA - The Ghana Cocobod with the support of Government would distribute 60,000,000 cocoa seedlings to cocoa farmers across the country during the 2015/2016 cocoa growing season.
Mr Sampson Manu, Acting Central Regional Cocoa Officer of the Ghana Cocobod at Dunkwa-On-Offin, said this at a farmer's rally organized by the Board for Cocoa Farmer's from Denkyira Asikuma, Denyase, Esaase, Meretweso and Achiase all in the Upper Denkyira East Municipality of the Central Region.
He said Denkyira Asikuma and Akyempim zones would receive 100,000 each of the cocoa seedlings for distribution to cocoa farmers within those catchment areas and urged the farmers to go and register with the Regional Cocobod Office at Dunkwa-On-Offin for technical officers to take measurement of each individual cocoa farms to determine the size and the number of cocoa seedlings required.
Mr Manu said governments' effort to streamline activities of the Cocobod with the formation of a task force made up of the security agencies and cocoa officers among others to stem the diversion of fertilizers and chemicals by cocoa officers as alleged in the past.
He commended government in its efforts to rehabilitate cocoa roads in cocoa growing areas to help boost cocoa production in the country.
Mr Samuel Owusu Ansah the Regional Extension Officer of the Cocobod, on his part revealed that a total number of 1,008 youth made up 488 males and 520 females have so far registered with the regional Cocobod Office under the 'Youth in Cocoa Programme'
He said Ghana Cocobod, realizing the implication of ageing cocoa farmers, many who were 55 and above, introduced an advocacy programme in 2012 tagged 'youth in Cocoa' with a call on the younger generation to take up cocoa farming.
This, Mr Owusu Ansah said, was an initiative geared towards providing a succession plan which was a critical component of the new Cocoa Sector Transformational Agenda of the Board.
He said the primary objective of the youth in cocoa programme was to motivate the younger generation to take up cocoa farming as a lucrative business and to sustain cocoa production in the country.