The Chief Executive of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Joseph Boahen Aidoo has expressed deep worry about the extent of Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease (CSSVD) infestation on cocoa farms in Ghana.
Mr. Aidoo made the observation when he toured some cocoa farms in the Western South and Western North Cocoa Regions of Ghana to acquaint himself of the state of cocoa farms after the introduction of the Hand Pollination exercise.
He expressed disappointment at the state of CSSVD infestation when he was greeted with it as well as pest infestations on some farms.
Mr. Aidoo was accompanied on the familiarization tour by the directors of the various COCOBOD subsidiaries: Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED) and Seed Production Division (SPD).
He used the occasion to discuss with some subsidiary heads remedial actions to be taken immediately and also design a rehabilitation programme. He implored them to take samples of the diseased pods for further studies to arrive at the appropriate interventions.
The chief executive stated his readiness to tackle the state of disease infestation on the Ghanaian cocoa industry, ‘Until we are able to take stringent measures to curtail the disease infestations on large tracts of cocoa farms, cocoa yield in the coming years will drastically fall’, he said. ‘The likely poor yield can impoverish the Ghanaian cocoa farmer and affect the overall world chocolate industry’ he added.
Mr. Aidoo stated that the only means to salvage the distressed situation will be to source for funds to embark on vigorous cocoa farm rehabilitation programme while deepening the Cocoa Hi-Tech programme to massively fight cocoa disease and pest infestation.
He called on cocoa farmers to fully embrace the interventions that will be used to decrease the cocoa diseases and pest infestations as a means to fighting the menace.
The Managing Director of Quality Control Company, Dr. Isaac Yaw Opoku used the occasion to demonstrate to some farmers how to handle cocoa beans to ensure good quality cocoa beans for sale.