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09.06.2004 Regional News

Nyakrom cocoa farmers to receive 1.6 billion cedis as compensation

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Agona Swedru, (C/R) June 9, GNA - Cocoa farmers in the Nyakrom District in the Central Region are to be paid 1.632 billion cedis as compensation for cocoa trees that were affected by the swollen shoot virus disease.

Mr Francis E. Nsiah, Deputy Executive Director of the Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease Control Unit (CSSVDC) of COCOBOD announced this at a meeting with cocoa farmers from Nyakrom at Agona Swedru. He said the money would be ready by the end of this month and urged cocoa farmers in Nyakrom area to exercise greater restraint, while CSSVDC management made the necessary preparations for payment. Mr Nsiah said already the CSSVDC has paid much compensations to affected cocoa farmers in the Asikuma, Fosu, and Jukwa districts of the Central Region.

The Deputy Executive Director announced that CSSVDC would pay 1.6 million cedis per hectare to farmers whose cocoa farms had been affected by the disease.

He stated that the CSSVDC management has sent 1.9 million hi-tech cocoa seedlings for distribution to farmers in the Central Region to replant their affected farms this year.

Mr Nsiah announced that government has given the private sector the opportunity to nurse improved cocoa seedlings to be sold to cocoa farmers for replanting to increase their yield.

He said the CSSVDC would send trucks to distribute the seedlings to farmers in the region.

Mr Twumasi Kusi-Appiah, Central Regional Manager of CSSVDC, advised farmers to monitor the distribution of the seedlings to avoid any diversion.

He assured farmers that the regional management of CSSVDC would ensure equitable distributions of the hi-tech seedlings which had been introduced by the government to boost cocoa production. Mr Kusi-Appiah therefore, urged the farmers to allow gangs of the disease control unit to cut down their swollen shoot trees to prevent the disease from spreading to other districts in the region. Nana Kofi Agyekum, Swedru District Chief Farmer appealed to farmers to take government's mass cocoa spraying exercise seriously, to boost production.