Kodjo Adams, GNA
Accra, Feb. 28, GNA
– The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has partnered the Mennonite Economic
Development Association (MEDA) to control the spread of the Cocoa Swollen Shoot
Virus Disease (CSSVD) among cocoa trees.
seeks to tackle the disease to improve cocoa production in the country.
Dr Emmanuel Nii
Tackie-Otoo, Head of Cocoa Health and Extension Division, COCOBOD, said CSSD
had serious effects of cocoa production in the country, adding that concerted
efforts was needed to curb the disease.
Currently, 315, 000
hectares of cocoa land are infected with the disease, with 67 per cent of the
total of 17 per cent of cocoa trees being at the Western North Region.
He said the disease
had no ‘medicinal’ treatment to sustain infected trees, other than cutting off
those trees and applying aboriside to control the spread.
Dr Tackie-Otoo said
over the years the COCOBOD had difficulties getting the right technology to
undertake trees uprooting, adding that, the Board per its review of the process
had developed accurate mechanisms to control the disease.
He said they would
recruit more labourers from the communities to do the replanting, as well as
continuous engagement with farmers in treating the disease.
Dr Tackie-Otoo said
a pilot phase had been undertaken, cutting down of 7,000 hectares of infected
cocoa farm lands, 6,000 in the Western North and 1,000 hectares in the Eastern
Region, and had replanted 2,000 of them in the Western North Region.
He said they
established technical processes before the replanting to make sure farmlands
are completely treated of the disease infection.
Mr Robert Austin,
County Director of MEDA, a Canadian development organisation, said they were
committed to help increase cocoa production in the country.
He said their
support was in two parts, to support the sensitisation of farmers on the
disease and its treatment as well as support the replanting of trees with
He said MEDA would
be undertaking capacity building and sensitisation programme to cover nearly
30, 000 farmers.
capacity building programme is a focused initiative which will use media
broadcast campaigns and interactive voice response trainings to sensitise and
educate farmers,” he said.
Mr Austin said:
“MEDA has made the determination that we could make greatest impact through
a collaborative relationships and partnerships with COCOBOD to help increase
production, to reduce the shortfall in the supply, of its certified hybrid
cocoa seeds to farmers.”