Joseph Boahen Aidoo, chief executive officer of Ghana Cocoa (Cocobod), has announced he is increasing the compensation grant under the National Cocoa Rehabilitation Program to farmers who agree to cut and replant their Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus (CSSV) crop.
He announced the move, reported by 3news.com|Ghana, at a press conference in Sefwi Wiawso in the north west of the country, where he said that, out of a total of 1.9 million hectares of cocoa farms surveyed, 315,800 hectares had been affected by the swollen shoot virus disease.
Cocobod’s initial treatment grant, which was pegged at GH¢552.96 ($106.34) per hectare, has now been increased to GH¢1000 ($192.31) per hectare.
Aidoo advised landowners and cocoa farmers to allow their infected trees to be cut and replanted with high yielding, early bearing and disease tolerant seedlings for increased and sustainable yield.
The cost of cutting the infected cocoa trees and replanting will be borne by government and Cocobod, and in addition, plantain suckers and economic trees seedlings will be supplied at no cost to the affected farmers.
“Out of every five hectares of cocoa farm, two hectares are infected,” Aidoo said, while stressing that chemicals cannot treat infected cocoa trees, the only cure is to cut and replant.
He also urged farmers to embrace the National Cocoa Rehabilitation Program to forestall any decline in production output.