The Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED) of COCOBOD has embarked on a nationwide campaign to strengthen farmers’ education on the coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic.
The aim is to encourage and motivate cocoa farmers to strictly adhere to the preventive protocols and restrictive measures outlined by the government to contain the further spread of the virus in the country.
It is also to help reduce panic and fear the pandemic seems to be causing in cocoa growing communities, and give assurance to the farmers that, farming activities could go on despite the outbreak of the virus in the country.
Dr. Emmanuel Nii Tackie-Otoo, National Director of CHED speaking at one of the farmers’ mini durbar at Nkyirepoasu, a farming community in the Juaben Municipality, said the exercise was to further strengthen the capacities of cocoa farmers to help ensure continuity and sustainability of the cocoa value chain in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said it was necessary for the top management of COCOBOD to directly engage farmers in rural communities where cocoa farmlands were located to help overcome all kinds of fear, panic and false information being churned out due to the outbreak of the pandemic.
The exercise, he said, was to also to help the top management to monitor and evaluate the ongoing pruning exercise of over five million hectares of cocoa farms across all the cocoa growing regions in the country.
Dr. Tackie-Otoo said as part of the education campaign exercise, COCOBOD had distributed over 1.2 million pieces of carbolic soaps to cocoa farmers in all cocoa growing districts in the country.
This was to encourage the farmers to wash their hands regularly and observe all the other preventive protocols to protect themselves and their families from catching and spreading the virus in their communities.
Touching on the new Cocoa Management System (CMS) which had been rolled out by COCOBOD, he said, all cocoa farmers would be enumerated, registered and issued with an identification card, while their farm sizes would also be measured to facilitate the smooth monitoring and transaction of their cocoa businesses.
Mr. Kwadwo Danso, Ashanti Regional Manager of CHED, urged the farmers to promptly report all pest and disease cases to nearby CHED offices for immediate attention.
Mr. Samuel Kofi Buah, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at the Ashanti Regional CHED Office, said his outfit was strengthening its field activities, especially in this era of coronavirus, to ensure that farmers continued with modern farming practices to improve on their yields.
Nana Nicholas Boampong, a farmer in the community, praised CHED for the education campaign and urged all the farmers to observe all the preventive protocols to stay healthy.
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