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09.06.2005 Business & Finance

Cocoa production increases in Ashanti Region


Kumasi, June 9, GNA - Cocoa production in the Ashanti Region increased from 57,000 tonnes in 2001-2002 to 114,000 tonnes in 2003-2004 crop season. The increase in production is attributed to the introduction of the hi-tech fertilizers and the mass cocoa spraying exercise.

Mr Sampson Kwaku Boafo, Ashanti Regional Minister, made these known when the 120-member delegation of the Nigerian Cocoa Development Committee (NCDC) paid a courtesy call on him in Kumasi on Thursday. He told them that the boost in cocoa production had resulted in job opportunities for people in the rural communities. Ashanti, he said, has a total of 400,000 hectares of land under cocoa cultivation with 16 cocoa districts and ranked third after the northern and southern parts of the Western Region.

The Regional Minister stated that the cocoa industry enjoys tremendous goodwill among the people and that the Cocoa Board was providing welfare packages, including bonus payments to farmers and scholarship awards to their children in Secondary Schools.

Chief Christopher Adebayo Alao Akara, Deputy Governor of the Oyo State and leader of the delegation, said they were in the country to learn more about its cocoa production to help improve the production levels of their country for both export and local consumption. He lauded the Ghana Government for the strides made so far to become one of the best cocoa producers in the world. The delegation would be visiting some farms in the region and also hold meeting with Kuapa Kokoo Co-operative Limited, a licenced cocoa buying company in Kumasi.