COCOBOD To Clear 315,800 Hectares Affected With Swollen Shoot
..."...Farmers Urged To Embrace National Rehabilitation Program "
The Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) has urged cocoa farmers to fully welcome the National Cocoa Rehabilitation Program as they prepare to clear 315,800 hectares of cocoa farms affected with the Swollen Shoot Virus.
According to COCOBOD, their checks have revealed that that out of a total of 1.9 million hectares of cocoa farms surveyed, 315,800 hectares have been affected by the swollen shoot virus disease.
Out of this, the Western North Region alone had 214,500 hectares of affected farms. Due to that, they have advised landowners and cocoa farmers to allow their infected trees to be cut down and replanted with high-yielding, early-bearing and disease-tolerant seedlings for increased and sustainable yield.
COCOBOD has reviewed upwards the initial treatment grant which is part of the compensation package for landowners and cocoa farmers who agree to cut and replant their Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus-affected cocoa farms under the on-going National Cocoa Rehabilitation Programme.
The initial treatment grant, which was pegged at GHS552.96 has now been increased to GHS1000.00 per hectare. Hence their call on farmers to embrace the rehabilitation program to deal with the Swollen Shoot virus.
The Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, Mr. Joseph Boahen Aidoo, announced this at Sefwi Wiawso in the Western North Region at a durbar of the chiefs and people of Sefwi Wiawso Traditional Area in honor of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, during his 3-day working visit to the Region.
According to him, the cost of cutting the infected cocoa trees and replanting will be borne by the government and Cocobod. In addition, plantain suckers and economic trees seedlings will be supplied at no cost to the affected farmers.
Mr. Aidoo further stressed that no chemical can treat an infected cocoa tree unless it is cut and replanted.
In line with the upcoming exercise, youth in farming communities have been trained in the replanting of cocoa to create employment for them.