‘Adopt Good Agronomy Practices’

Members of SUWCOF


GHANA COCOABOD, the state agency responsible for cocoa production in the country has advised cocoa farmers to religiously adopt good agronomy practices being roll out in the country to ensure maximum cocoa yield and increase production.

Bono Regional Manager of Cocoa Health Extension Division (CHED) of COCOBOD, Ernest Owusu Ansah, gave the advice when he launched the Sunyani Cocoa Women Corporative (SUWCOF) in Sunyani over the weekend.

The Sunyani Cocoa Women Corporative with over two thousand women membership is a farmer corporative society which brings women in cocoa farming in Sunyani Cocoa District together to discuss issues concerning their welfare and how best to practice their trade to get maximum benefits.

At the launch of the association at the forecourt of the Sunyani Municipal Assembly, the CHED manager pleaded with the farmers to avail their farms to best agronomy practices being roled out by the government to increase yield per cocoa tree per acre and also get premium cocoa beans for the international market.

”Getting maximum cocoa yield is about how many pod is gotten from a tree and not so much about the size of the farmland or the number of acres. It is about the fruit and not the farm size. One thousand five hundred pods of cocoa make one bag and 435: trees is equal to one acre.

So if you follow the best practices like pruning, hand pollination, mass spraying and cutting down of diseased cocoa trees and replace them then you can be assured of increase yield.

It is about the ability to fruit more and not the farm size’.  He further implored them to report to COCOABOD swollen shoot disease identified on their farms for prompt action.

Furthermore, you are also not to use the seeds from your farms for planting but always acquire them or seedlings from the seed production division of COCOABOD for planting since seedlings from SPD are clinically treated.

He said government was embarking on what is called cocoa management system where data on cocoa farmers like farm size, location and yield are being collated to enable the government implement cocoa pension scheme for cocoa farmers.

”Beneficiaries shall be identified by identity cards which shall be used for cocoa purchasing, bonus and also allow you to benefit from pollination, pruning and the mass spraying exercises among others.

Mr. Owusu Ansah further took the farmers through good post harvest practices that ensure premium beans like proper drying methods and moisture content. He stressed the need to be on the look for those who collaborate with farmers to smuggle subsidised fertilizer out of the country to La Cote D’Ivoire.

“COCOABOD is worried subsidised fertilizers by the government are being smuggled out of the country so you must report anybody who engages in the practice for actions.

The government cares so much about women in cocoa farming and is ready to assist you to get the best out of your activities,” he said.

President of the association, Gifty Kumi, noted the association has a membership of over 2,000 and are happy with the government’s intervention and policies in the sector.

”Most of our members have already enrolled onto the scheme but we call on the government to increase producer price of the commodity because we are suffering. Unlike first, now a lot of women are engaged in cocoa farming so it is no longer the preserve of men. She encouraged women especially the youth to venture into cocoa farming saying there is money in it.

The 2022 best cocoa farmer for Sunyani West District, Benson Amoah, also praised the government for the new policy but appealed for increase in producer price for farmers.

He revealed the issue of ‘galamsay’ does not affect cocoa farms in the district and called on colleagues to resist any attempt by people to sell their farmlands for ‘galamsay’ activities.

FROM Daniel Y Dayee, Sunyani