Government is set to distribute 10.2 million high-yielding and disease resistant cocoa seedlings to farmers in the country this season free of charge.
The seedlings are also said to mature faster in record time to help farmers harvest more pods in the future.
Government has targeted to distribute a total of 60 million hybrid seedlings nationwide.
The Ashanti Regional Manager of the Cocoa Health and Extension Division, Mrs. Faustina Asamany disclosed this in the region.
Government has also announced plans to increase fertilizer distributed to farmers to increase output.
Mrs. Asamany maintained that Cocobod will make sure the fertilizer is distributed fairly and transparently to cocoa farmers across the country
She urged the farmers to continue to adopt best practices to maintain the quality of cocoa beans.
Cocoa output declines
Ghana’s cocoa production fell significantly in the 2014/15 (October-September) season, which drove the world market into deficit after several years of surpluses.
According to Ecobank report in 2015, Ghanaian beans purchased under the period was 541,000 MT , 22% down on the same period the previous season.
The sharp drop in output was attributed to an outbreak of black pod disease that swept the country, following heavy rainfall in the months leading up to the main crop.
Also, losses were high as farmers did not have access to fungicides to treat cocoa trees, while fertilizer usage was low, with few farmers receiving sufficient quantities in time for the 2014/15 harvest.
By: Lawrence Segbefia/citibusinessnews/Ghana