COCOBOD TO CUT DOWN OVER 100 MILLION COCOA TREES

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Cocoa farmers from Assin Akonfudi receive training from Rainforest Alliance. Their premium cocoa supplies Magnum Icecream.

The Ghana COCOBOD is looking forward to cut down about one hundred million cocoa trees by the 2017/2018 crop season.

The trees, mostly diseased ones, are among the 40 percent of total unproductive cocoa trees.

According to the CEO of the COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, the destruction of the crops has become necessary to improve the crop yield of cocoa farms.

“17 percent of the tree stock has been affected by the swollen shoot disease so we need to cut them and replant. Another 23 percent of the cocoa trees are either in moribund farms or over-aged.”

“By overage, it means the yield is insignificant; you get fewer pods on the cocoa tree when you go to harvest. That is not the ideal situation where it could be between 80 to 100 pods, it means we need to cut them and that is what we have out together and called the cocoa rehabilitation program,” Mr. Aidoo added.

The move to destroy the cocoa trees also comes at a time that COCOBOD is targeting a minimum of one million metric tonnes by 2020.

But Mr. Boahen Aidoo is confident efforts to replace the potential shortfall with the cocoa rehabilitation program should also augment cocoa production.

Ghana, the second-largest producing country in the world, is seeking to increase its yield from the current annual output of 800,000 tonnes.

But some believe that the destruction of the diseased trees coupled with ‘galamsey’ destroying additional cocoa farms and falling prices threaten the one million tonnes target.

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