Joseph Boahen Aidoo – CEO of COCOBOD

Maxwell Kofi Asiedu, the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Kadjebi in the Oti Region, has expressed appreciation to the management of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) for awarding contracts for the construction of the Hohoe to Jasikan and the Have to Hohoe roads under the cocoa roads construction programme.

The two stretches of roads, together, formed a vast and critical portion of the eastern corridor roads, Mr Asiedu noted. It is an important route which connects the region to other parts of the country, yet, for many years it has not been given the needed attention till now.

The Kadjebi DCE said this when he accompanied the Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, to visit a 19-acre cocoa farm at Kadjebi Konsuaso, which belongs to 24-year-old Komla Adjei, who disclosed during the visit that he inherited the farm from his deceased father.

Mr Asiedu was surefooted that when completed, it would ease the difficulties that motorists faced when using the roads, this included the trucks which brought cocoa to COCOBOD’s warehousing facilities in the south. He, however, requested that other connecting roads which went deep into the communities should be considered during the next round of contracts.

Both road projects are being constructed using a co-financing mechanism. The stretch from Hohoe to Jasikan will be completed in two years, while that from Have to Hohoe will take three years to complete.

Mr Aidoo, on his part, said that COCOBOD remained committed to improving the lives of cocoa farmers and their communities. It is in keeping with this commitment that the cocoa authority facilitates the construction of roads and schools and provides other amenities in cocoa communities.

He expressed the hope that cocoa farmers in the Oti and Volta regions could, through effective pruning, the timely application of adequate amounts of fertilizer and hand pollination, increase their yield volumes.

He cautioned against the sale of cocoa beans to individuals instead of the Licenced Buying Companies (LBCs). These individuals, who the locals only referred to as Alhajis, headed the syndicates who smuggled cocoa beans into neighbouring Togo; and were causing a loss of revenue for the country.

Mr Aidoo shared this same message with other farmers when he visited several farms throughout the day and interacted with cooperatives.

During each of these visits, he and his delegation, made up of two of his three deputies as well as the heads of various divisions, departments and subsidiaries of COCOBOD, took turns to educate farmers on pruning, fertilizer application, hand pollination and the adverse effect of weedicides.