The Chief Executive of Ghana COCOBOD, Hon. Joseph Boahen Aidoo has hinted that President Akufo-Addo has directed the inclusion of chocolate drinks in the School Feeding programme.
This, he said, is to encourage the consumption of cocoa by children for nutrition and good health and to enable them develop lasting taste for cocoa as they grow up.
Hon. Joseph Aidoo disclosed this at the 2018 Cocoa Day Grand Durbar held in Accra.
Cocoa Day celebration is aimed at recognizing the efforts of hardworking cocoa farmers; sensitizing the public on the health and nutritional benefits of cocoa and encouraging the citizenry to consume cocoa daily.
Hon. Joseph Boahen Aidoo announced that his outfit’s efforts to successfully secure a syndicated loan facility of US$1.3 billion to purchase cocoa for the 2018/19 cocoa season, opens in October 2018.
He disclosed that combined efforts of the mass pruning, hand pollination, fertilizer application, mass spraying and other interventions initiated by COCOBOD have yielded results.
“As we work assiduously to increase productivity per acre, also very critical for the sector and incomes of farmers have been the need to aggressively address the dangerous threat posed by the Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease (CSSVD).”
“The vision of President Akufo Addo is to ensure that Ghana processes at least 50% of its cocoa produce.”
“As part of measures to cushion the impact of the falling world price on the farmer, COCOBOD has introduced new interventions to improve farm yields and farmer income,” he said.
The Board, he said, has also reviewed the subsidized fertilizer programme to allow farmers to purchase fertilizer on credit from Licensed Buying Companies and approved input distribution companies.
COCOBOD, through its extension programme, plans to train cocoa farmers on the hand pollination techniques.
This programme, he said, has the potential to increase cocoa production and also ensure high survival of transplanted cocoa seedlings.
By William Sarpong