GNA – Ghana will soon roll out a series of interventions geared towards boosting the cocoa production chain and attain a climate smart cocoa regime, Mr Kojo Opong Nkrumah, the Minister of Information has said.
He said government was investing more in the sector and would on Friday, October 4, 2019, launch the Cocoa Forest REDD+ programme, aimed at promoting and boosting the climate change efforts at the sector.
Mr Nkrumah, who announced this in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region at a News briefing, prior to the Fifth Regional Town Hall Meeting on Monday, stated that the interventions were being led by COCOBOD, the Forestry Commission, the World Cocoa Foundation, Civil Society Organisations in the cocoa industry as well as other industry players.
The Minister stated that the initiative would enrich the vegetation cover to help retain soil moisture and fertility, leading to increase in the production of cocoa without degrading the forest as farmers would be encouraged to desist from felling trees.
Along with the interventions, the Minister stated, cocoa farmers would be supplied with indigenous tree seedlings species to plant on their farms and nurture.
“One significant part of this intervention is that farmers would be supported to register the commercial trees or the farm trees on their plantations, so that they can now have ownership and bargaining rights against timber merchants”, he underscored.
The Minister said a combination of the interventions coupled with other investments in the industry would motivate farmers and ensure sustained cocoa production, thereby boosting the income levels of farmers and the economy.
It would also enhance mitigation against climate.
Mr Nkrumah, who is also the Member of Parliament for Ofoase-Ayirebi Constituency in the Eastern Region, encouraged cocoa farmers across the country to take advantage of the initiative, when it was fully rolled out, so as to increase yields.
“Government expects that its merits of cocoa interventions including; other things like the hand pollination exercise, that is ongoing and improving yields, fertilizer subsidies, extension officers’ technical support and the favorable pricing regime would continue to reward the hardworking cocoa farmers”, he said.