Mr Samuel Osei, the Regional Manager of Western South Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED), says his outfit is aggressively educating cocoa farmers in the Region to adopt hand cocoa pollination farming practices to increase their cocoa production.
The Western-South CHED Manager told Ghana News Agency on the sidelines during a field tour at cocoa farming communities such as Asankragua,Manso Amenfi,Tarkwa and Huni-Valley to monitor the progress of this year's hand pollination exercise on cocoa farms.
Mr Osei told GNA that he was, “impressed by the results achieved so far by participating farmers and encouraged all cocoa farmers in the Region to adopt the technique on their farms, having done massive pruning of their farms.”
At Bremang in the Huni-Valley District,he interacted with a cocoa farmer and his wife, Mr and Mrs Mensah who on their own, imbibed the skills from the Community Extension Officers of Huni-Valley and gladly pollinated their own 8-acre-farm which was having an average of 118 pods per tree with an outlier of 403 cocoa pods.
The feat,the Regional Manager noted,would translate into at least 32 bags of dried cocoa beans per acre to give the farmer higher returns from his investment.
Mr Osei educated the cocoa farmers to make themselves available for the Community Extension Agents to train them and their farm hands free of charge and give them the tools of work, such as forceps free of charge from Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to enable them undertake hand pollination exercise frequently on their farms.
The Western-South CHED Manager urged cocoa farmers who adopted the skills of technical and input support to protect their cocoa pods from insects and fungal attacks for increased productivity.