Govt rolls out climate smart cocoa programme, Friday Oct 4

 The government will from Friday, October 4 this year roll out series of interventions aimed at promoting a climate smart cocoa regime in Ghana, the Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has announced.

The sector minister disclosed this during an interaction with the media in the Upper East Region on Sunday, as a prelude to the Town Hall Meeting held in Bolgatanga on Monday.

He said the government’s investment project in the cocoa sector dubbed “Cocoa Redd plus Programme” which is expected to be launched this coming Friday is led by the Cocoa Board, Forestry Commission, World Cocoa Foundation, civil society in the cocoa industry as well as other players.

“Climate smart cocoa is the production of cocoa without forest degradation but rather with methods that instead enrich the vegetation cover and nature,” the minister explained.

The sector minister said under the intervention, cocoa farmers would be supplied with seedlings of indigenous tree species to plant per hectare, adding that farmers would also be encouraged to desist from tree felling but instead nature the trees to provide cover for their farms.

“Farmers will also be supported to register farm trees on their farms so they have ownership and bragging rights against timber merchants,” he stressed.

He said the combination of these interventions was expected to motivate cocoa farmers to lead the charge in providing vegetation cover for the cocoa industry, adding, “this associated with the other interventions in the sector should lead to more sustained cocoa farming and its attendants benefits to both farmers and the economy.”

“The launch of these initiatives is also expected to give a major boost to the climate protection agenda and we encourage farmers nationwide to take advantage of it. Government expects that its myriad of cocoa interventions including hand pollination, fertiliser subsidies, extension officers’ technical support and favourable pricing will continue to reward the hardworking Ghanaian cocoa farmer.”

FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, BOLGATANGA

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