The Chief Executive of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Hon Joseph Boahen Aidoo has urged cocoa farmers at Wassa Amenfi in the Western South region to enrol on the Cocoa Management System (CMS) being spearheaded by the Board to improve operations within the cocoa sector.
The CMS Project was recently launched to capture a comprehensive and accurate data base on cocoa farmers in the country to facilitate and enhance planning in the cocoa sub-sector.
Hon Aidoo was speaking at the inauguration of the Wassa Amenfi Cocoa Farmer’s Cooperative Union at Wassa Amenfi, where he inducted an eleven-member executive team into office for a two-year term.
The Union, which is made up of 815 registered cooperatives from 207 communities within the Wassa Akropong Cocoa District, has foundation membership of 52,432 comprising 32,961 males and 19,471 females.
Hon Aidoo applauded the farmers for joining forces to form the Union, which he said is in line with COCOBOD’s policy to encourage farmers to form cooperatives to enable them easily access extension services and other inputs to assist them in their cocoa farming business.
He urged the executives to exhibit servant leadership skills and serve the interests of their members.
Hon Aidoo outlined the importance of the Cocoa Management System to the sector and urged all cocoa farmers to register when the registration team visits their communities.
He said the Government is determined to improve the fortunes of cocoa farmers in the country and stated that Productivity Enhancement Programmes like mass pruning, hand pollination, mass spraying, pilot irrigation scheme and subsidised fertiliser supply to cocoa farmers are all part of initiatives by Government to that effect. He encouraged cocoa farmers to keep faith with the NPP Government as more farmer-friendly policies will be rolled out to enhance their livelihood.
Hon Aidoo also educated the farmers on the Cocoa Rehabilitation Programme, and urged all with infected farms to allow treatment of the Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease. He announced that COCOBOD will support farmers to replace aged and moribund farms under the Rehabilitation Programmme.
The Chairman of the Union, Nana K. Mortey said innovative policies like mass pruning, hand pollination and the subsidized fertilizer policy are yielding positive results within the sector and entreated Government to sustain such well-thought out interventions.
The Omanhene of Wassa Amenfi Traditional Area and President of the Western Regional House Chiefs, Tetrete Okuamoah Sekyim II, who presided over the programme, advised the executives to be truthful and transparent in their activities in order to win the trust of their members, and also to help them achieve their objectives.
During the event, the Union presented a citation to the Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Hon. Joseph Boahen Aidoo in recognition of his hard work, which has resulted in the implementation of the Living Income Differential (LID) Policy, as well as, the Floor Price Policy introduced in 2019. The citation indicated that the new policies have made it possible for cocoa farmers to enjoy high producer price of cocoa this year, a feat many farmers have hailed as beyond their expectation in the midst of Covid – 19 pandemic which has negatively affected all sectors of the economy.