He accused, the COCOBOD as having isolated farmers and working as an independent body.
“COCOBOD is situated in Accra and the people there are not experienced cocoa farmers who know what we need and when we need them. They possess little knowledge in growing cocoa.”
He admitted that they (farmers) were provided with farming inputs last year and those were enough to increase their yield and protect their farms against pests but the case was different now.
“The frequent rains in our area has led to pests infecting our cocoa trees and we called upon the COCOBOD for help and the bureaucracy we had to suffer almost cost us our cocoa farms. They always used issues of procurement as their excuse.
We were promised cutters who would fell our infected trees but it took a long time for that to happen. As a chief farmer, I will tell you that COCOBOD has no idea of when cocoa pods are harvested.
COCOBOD supplies us with our fertilisers at a late time, undertakes pruning and spraying exercise way later than they are meant to happen and if you don’t do these yourself and rely on them, you will lose your farm.”
Seth argues if COCOBOD was on top of issues, it will always make sure farming inputs and other processes are put in order way before the cocoa season starts and that will “save us a lot of stress, worry, cost and save our plants from dying.”
The chief farmer shared that the present activities of COCOBOD will only see to the collapse of Ghana’s cocoa sector. “I want to stop cocoa farming because if I don’t take care, I will grow weak and feeble and still be growing cocoa because I have nothing to my name.”
According to him, growing cocoa is a money making venture but because politics has now been introduced into the sector, cocoa farmers are suffering “and we hate that,” he told Happy98.9FM’s Don Kwabena Prah on the Epa Hoa Daben political talk show.
He shared that the arrears owed them by cocoa purchasing companies is costing them their businesses, and appealed to the government to see to the swift disbursement of funds for such payments.
Stories on the plight of rural cocoa farmers have been shared on Happy98.9FM’s Epa Hoa Daben political show as part of a series dubbed, “Ghana’s Cocoa Sector, ‘The Inside Story’.
This was prompted by the revelation of China actively participating in the growing of cocoa. Read Full Story