The Ghana Cocoa Board has said that it has put stringent measures in place to ensure that the novel coronavirus would not have a negative impact on the 2020/2021 cocoa season.
COCOBOD said it has supplied farmers with the necessary assistance to keep the production process on track.
Speaking to an Accra based radio station, the Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen-Aidoo said a new method of pruning would be emphasized to prepare farmers to take advantage of the critical flowering season in May 2020.
In line with this, COCOBOD distributed 100,000 motorized pruners and slashers to cocoa farmers across the country.
“To get enhanced flowering, you have to prune. Over the years farmers have not been used to pruning… once the farm is pruned, immediately production more than doubles.”
“We are scaling pruning to all farms. It is the first in the history of Ghana’s cocoa that we are having this mass pruning across the whole country. That is the reason we brought in the mechanized pruners.”
This, he said, among other interventions will “impact positively on the industry.”
The novel coronavirus pandemic has hit various sectors of the economy very hard with some experts predicting a drop in the producer price of cocoa but COCOBOD downplayed suggestions that the producer price of cocoa may fall as a result of the pandemic.
COCOBOD in 2019 increased the producer price of the beans from GHS7,640 to GHS8,240 per tonne.
With the global fight against COVID-19, most international trading commodities have seen plummeting prices with cocoa also being affected.
The sector is currently in line to benefit from a $600 million dollar loan facility from the African Development Bank.
COCOBOD Assures Farmers of Cocoa Loan Syndication
The Ghana Cocoa Board earlier this month assured farmers and other stakeholders of Cocoa loan syndication despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the CEO, the basis of the syndication which is the production of cocoa is on-going albeit the partial lockdown of major cities in the country to help contain the spread of the virus.
“There is no need to panic because the syndication will surely happen. Yes, we admit that there is a challenge, COVID-19 has slowed the process but we are on course and we are sure that by the time the season opens, the funds would have been ready,” he said.