Agyerekrom — Farmers in the Sankore Cocoa District in the Ahafo Region have called for an increment in cocoa price in the upcoming 2020/2021 season which is expected to be opened next month.
According to the farmers, the cost of production had increased significantly and it was therefore prudent that Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), and for that matter government to respond with price increment.
The Chairman of Agyerekrom Farmers' Cooperative, Peter Adongo, who made the call, explained that the high cost of farm labour and inputs such as fertilisers and insecticides have culminated to absorb the gains of farmers.
The increase in cocoa price, he noted, would help make cocoa farming profitable, improve the lives of the farmers and attract the young folks into it.
Mr Adongo was speaking during the presentation of agrochemicals by COCOBOD to farmers within Sankore area.
The items included boxes of UG fungicide, begreen flower booster and insecticides.
The agrochemicals were given to farmers in communities such as Yamano, Agyerekrom, Manhyia, Dankwa, Chief Camp and Tweneboa.
Speaking at a symbolic presentation, he said "We appreciate the support and commitment of the government to transform cocoa farming, but it would be more refreshing if government can increase the price from GH¢515 per bag (64kg) to about GH¢800."
Madam Ama Duako, 73, said one of the surest ways to attract the youth into cocoa farming was to make it lucrative, adding that the current price could not be maintained.
She also raised concern about erratic rainfall pattern, emphasising that the phenomenon posed a serious threat to cocoa production.
She therefore appealed to COCOBOD to fast-track the implementation of its irrigation scheme to help mitigate the situation.
Presenting the items, Sankore Cocoa District Officer, David Gyebi-Afriyie, entreated farmers to strictly adhere to extension advice and good agronomic practices to maximise yield.
He said COCOBOD had intensified the implementation of its productivity enhancement programmes (PEPs) such as pruning, hand pollination, distribution of fertilisers and insecticides and urged farmers to take advantage to increase productiion.
"In order to cover more farms this seasons, COCOBOD has increased the number of hand pollinators in the Sankore District from 450 to 730. Additional 120 volunteers have also been trained to support the hand pollination exercise," he stated.