Government is importing motorized slashers to distribute to cocoa farmers across the regions this year.
The machines, which are expected in the country by October, will eliminate the use of cutlasses and the old method of applying herbicides on cocoa farms.
Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, made this known in Kumasi at the launch of the National Farmer Cooperatives in the Cocoa Sector, where he revealed, farmers who do not belong to any cooperative, could miss out on the production incentive.
The launch focused on “Promoting Farmer Cooperatives Development in the Cocoa Sector”.
Current data suggests that there are about one million Ghanaian cocoa farmers, while the sector provides income to about three thousand.
The cocoa sector is also noted to be the mainstay of the national economy. It is however bedeviled with challenges including the fragmented front of the farmers, resulting in inefficient implementation of some of the production interventions like the mass spraying and distribution of subsidised fertilizers and approved chemicals.
This is what has necessitated the bringing together of all existing farmer cooperatives and individual farmers in the sector under the National Farmer Cooperatives in the Cocoa Sector.
It is an initiative of the Ghana COCOBOD to among other objectives, serve as a common vehicle for the effective introduction and implementation of programmes, and the the issuance of guarantee credit facilities to the farmers.
At the launch, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah, described as indispensable, the contribution of cocoa in national affairs and noted that it is through the cocoa scholarship that many from poor homes attained formal education.
The National President of the Cocoa, Coffee and Sheanut Farmers Association, Alhaji Alhassan Bukari, asked leaders of the Cooperative to eschew tendencies such as selfishness and dishonesty and prioritize the collective interest of all member farmers.
The Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture in charge of Perennial Crops, George Oduro, noted that government is doing its best to address fundamental challenges militating against the cocoa production sector and lauded the joint initiative of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire to call the shots in the pricing of the commodity on the world market.
He challenged cocoa farmers to take advantage of the efforts to improve on their businesses and economic well-being.
The Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, disclosed that Cabinet is considering Parliamentary ratification, a Charter to back the decision arrived at by the governments of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire some weeks ago on the Floor Price of cocoa and its benefits to the farmer.