A/R:FAKE AGRO-CHEMICALS IN THE MARKET IS A THREAT TO COCOA PRODUCTION,FARMERS LAMENTED
FAKE AGRO-CHEMICALS IN THE MARKET IS A THREAT TO COCOA PRODUCTION,FARMERS LAMENTED
Some cocoa farmers of the Mpasaaso No1 and No2 a community in the Ahafo Ano District in the Ashanti Region, have appealed to the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to check the activities of agro-chemical producers if it is to realise its target set for the cocoa season and it’s production.
COCOBOD is hoping to achieve 900,000 metric tonnes of cocoa at end of this year’s cocoa season. For this reason, it has introduced a number of cocoa productivity enhancement programmes, including the supply of agro-chemicals, subsidised fertilizers, hand-pollination exercises, and pruning among others.
However, According to some cocoa farmers in the Ahafo Ano District, given the ‘inadequate’ supply of chemicals, some agro-chemical producers have taken advantage of the situation by selling fake agro- chemicals to the unsuspecting cocoa farmer.
This development, the cocoa farmers noted, could derail government’s effort to ensure that farmers record an increase in their yields.
In an exclusive interview with Koowaa.com ,some of the cocoa farmers is said to have observed that the influx of ‘fake’ chemicals is partly due to the weak monitoring of licenced and unlicenced agro-chemical sellers across the region.
In addition to this, they also raised a number of challenges confronting the cocoa farming business within the region especially farmers in the Ahafo Ano District.
They have then appealed to the government and Ghana COCOBOD to take notice of this development and collaborate with other stakeholders like the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to arrest the situation.
Kwame Asare, a Cocoa famer suggested that government must commission a taskforce to monitor the markets and arrest those behind this act for prosecution.
He is optimistic that this will deter people from engaging in this act, while also educating cocoa farmers on the dangers associated with using unapproved chemicals.
He also promise to assist government in anyway by showing them those who were into this fake chemicals production.
Sources: Koowaa.com/Akwaadaa Nyame