COCOBOD has disclosed to Citi Business News that it is investing $40.625million in replanting and rehabilitation of aging cocoa farms for the 2014/2015 cocoa season.
There have been reports that Ghana’s cocoa industry is threatened by the increasing number of aging farmers as well as cocoa trees whose yields are expected to significantly reduce in the coming years.
COCOBOD in its bid to mitigate this risk says it will cut down the trees and replace them with new ones.
Chief Executive officer of COCOBOD, Dr Stephen Opuni tells Citi Business News “we have actually budgeted enough money to start farm rehabilitation. This will include cutting over-aged trees, those over 30years old. This is about 20% of existing cocoa farms.”
Dr Stephen Opuni added that his outfit is also training the youth to attract them into the industry.
“I launched a programme in Asin North, Young Cocoa farmers Association. That one is to educate young people to let them know cocoa farming is a lucrative business and therefore if they go into it, they will make a lot of money.”
“Actually the youth are responding to it”, he concluded.
COCOBOD recently increased the producer price of cocoa by 62.74% implying cocoa farmers will be paid GHS5, 520 per ton of cocoa they produce for the 2014/2015 crop season, up from GHS3, 392.
COCOBOD also projects a yield of over a million metric tonnes for the 2014/2015 crop season, a projection some analysts have described as over ambitious.
By: Anim Kwaku Boadu/citifmonline.com/Ghana