The cocoa farmers in Ghana are being introduced to motorised slashers (weeding machines) to increase the production of cocoa.
COCOBOD has banned the use of weedicides to increase cocoa production in Ghana
The Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, says the cocoa regulator has banned cocoa farmers in Ghana from using weedicides on their farms.
According to Mr Boahen Aidoo, the motorised slashers were invented to clear the cocoa farms of the farmers and also help in the pruning of the trees.
Mr Boahen Aidoo said this during the national launch of Farmer Cooperatives in the cocoa sector in Kumasi submitted:
“Weedicides since its inception have mostly fought against micro-organisms that produce the fertility of the soil. The use of the motorised slashers will drastically reduce the application of the agrochemicals.”
It is also expected that the motorised slashers will also help the fast production of cocoa since farmers will be able to clear and maintain large-sized cocoa farms with ease and pace.
He explained that the frequent use of weedicides has deteriorated the soil nutrients necessary for the growth of cocoa thereby reducing Ghana’s cocoa production.
He further indicated that foreign countries have lost taste in the consumption of Ghana’s cocoa, a major foreign exchange earner however the levels of agrochemicals generated in the cocoa beans is a source of worry.
He said the motorised slashers which will increase cocoa production will also make it attractive to foreign countries.
The slashers are expected to be distributed to farmers through the various cocoa cooperatives in the country by October 2019.
Farmers who are not in cooperatives will be disadvantaged.
“It will be very difficult to access the weeding machine if you are not a member of any of the cooperatives,” the CEO warned, urging all cocoa farmers to join cocoa cooperatives.
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