Cocoa farmers in the Western Region are expressing delight in their yields after experiencing great increase in cocoa production for two consecutive years, following the application of Omya Calciprill to tackle soil acidity on their cocoa farms.
Some of the farmers shared their testimonies on the improvements in the plants, and increase in yields after starting the application of Omya Calciprill to the soil two years ago.
During a day’s seminar for the Seed Production Division (SPD) of COCOBOD at Kejebril and Wassa Akropong, both in the Western Region last Monday, experts explained the effects of acidic soils on cocoa plants, and the importance of Calciprill in tackling soil acidity. The farmers gave their testimonies about the changes they have seen since applying Calciprill, and the additional bags they have harvested since then.
Speaking to the media at the seminar, the District Chief Farmer of Kejebril, Mr Anthony Amissah, explained that he was advised by the Extension Officer in the district after experiencing bad yield; consequently, upon applying the Omya Calciprill on his farm, his yields have increased for two consecutive years.
Mr Amissah expressed the hope of receiving more bags of Omya Calciprill this year to enable him continue to increase his yields.
The Zonal Chief Farmer at Sankor in the same district, Mr Stephen Quayson, added that Omya Calciprill was not limited to cocoa alone; because he does mixed cropping, and after using the product, he has harvested more food items.
Mr Samuel Osei, Western CHED Regional Operations Officer, explained that the acidity level of the soil in the region was unpleasant, hence applying Omya Calciprill to the soil would help farmers in the region experience better yields for their crops.
He indicated that applying Omya Calciprill would improve and enrich the soil for increased yields.
The CHED Regional Operations Officer stated that COCOBOD was training 20 extension officers and about 300 cocoa farmers, who will further become trainer of trainers in the region.
“It is the desire of COCOBOD to boost production to up to 1,500 per hector and reduce the fluctuating yield in the region,” he said.
COCOBOD was also partnering with the supplier, Demeter, to ensure that the product was easily accessible to the farmers to buy on their own and expand the coverage of the product in the region.
The Western Region is the hub of cocoa, hence there the need to curtail the acidity in the soil and enrich it to boost cocoa production in the region and the country at large.
Facilitator for the training, Mr Daniel Attivor, an agronomist for Omya West Africa, explained that the training was to help the farmers understand the soil composition and the effects acidity has on their efforts; adding that it was important for the farmers to know the nature of the soil, with the help of Extension Officers, before applying the fertiliser and in order to attain the required production levels.
BY TIMES REPORTER