The Ashanti Regional Manager for Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED) of the COCOBOD, Mr. Ebenezer Agyin, has urged farmers to adopt the habit of pruning in their day- to-day farming practice.
According to Mr. Agyin, Pruning which is a horticultural, arboricultural, and silvicultural practice, involves the removal of dead parts of a plant, tree, or vine that are not requisite to growth or production, hence, an effective farm hygiene exercise essential to prevent diseases, pests, and reduce crop loses to about 40 percent.
Addressing the Susu Biribi Women in Cocoa Association at Kwamang in the Afigya Kwabre North District in the Ashanti Region, the Ashanti Regional Manager divulged that Ghana’s cocoa production rate which shot up to 1,000,000 metric tonnes in 2021 was as a result of effective pruning exercise carried out by the COCOBOD across the country.
The COCOBOD, as stated by Mr. Agyin, was poised to assist farmers with the requisite technical expertise to increase crop yields in the 2023 season.
According to Mr. Agyin, COCOBOB seeks to support farmers with fuels to operate the motorized sprayers to enhance effective spraying exercises against insects and other cocoa diseases.
Commenting on farm rehabilitation exercise under the cocoa swollen shoot virus disease, he averred that the COCOBOD would engage affected farmers directly instead of relying on the rehabilitation assistants.
Mr. Agyin further explained that the absenteeism on the part of some of the rehabilitation assistants had left most of the farms to remain in bushes.
“It was therefore imperative that COCOBOD engaged the farmers directly, entrust all farm maintenance activities and channel payments due them for the exercise.”Mr. Ebenezer Agyin
Madam Christiana Amponsah, the Ashanti Regional Coordinator for Gender, CHED, noted that women played major role in cocoa production and that was why the COCOBOD saw the need to honor women.
“About 30 per cent of cocoa produced in the country were from women. However, this enormous contribution of women in cocoa production was often not recognized.”Madam Christiana Amponsah
Madam Amponsah elaborated on the importance of carrying women along the cocoa value chain to ensure sustainable increase in production.
Madam Mary Blankson, Financial Secretary to the Susu Biribi Women in Cocoa Association, commended the COCOBOD for its effort, contribution and knowledge imparted on its members of the association.
Mrs. Blankson called on the government to continually support farmers with farming incentives to boost production.
Pruning has always been part of the three most basic and useful farming practices.
The practice controls the overall size and density of the plant, maximize flowering and fruit production, creates highly specialized forms such as hedges, espaliers, topiaries, and pollards.
Proper pruning is essential for maintaining attractive and healthy trees and shrubs as well as protecting lifes and properties as pruning of branches and limbs that are hazardous, weak, or rotted prevent potential hazards to people and property.
The final goal of any pruning practice is to increase the health and aesthetics without giving the tree or shrub the look of having been pruned.