Chiefs, farmers and people of Kumikrom Bankyease in the Sefwi Bekwai enclave of the Western North have installed Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo, as Cocoa Nkosuohene.
This was in recognition of the sacrifices he has made towards the promotion of the cocoa industry in Ghana.
They declared that through the introduction of new technologies and innovations, Mr Boahen and his field team, have revived cocoa production and that the cocoa business was showing signs of recovery.
Mr George Gyapong, a farmer, made the declaration on Tuesday, when Mr Aidoo visited Kumikrom Bankyease, as part of a tour to assess progress of the National Cocoa Rehabilitation Programme (NCRP) in the Western North.
Explaining further, Mr Gyapong noted that, the COCOCBOD CEO and team had since assumption of office, truly showed their dedication and love for farmers, especially with the three-year NCRP aimed at eradicating cocoa swollen shoot virus from farms in the area and throughout the country.
He recalled that, although, past governments had made some efforts to eradicate CSSVD, this was the first time a programme had been rolled-out with government bearing the cost of measures including even husbandry practices.
He added “With earlier attempts to control swollen shoot, farmers were left on their own as to whether they would adopt the practices or not, nobody bothered.
For the three-year cocoa farm rehabilitation programme, farmers are receiving services including cutting down of trees, cost of hiring gangs, pegging of farms, provision of plantain suckers free of charge, until the cocoa trees start to fruition.”
Mr Gyapong declared: ‘Yes we need to reflect on these feats by COCOBOD and CEO, Mr Boahen Aidoo and the government and applaud their efforts and commitment to the cocoa industry, and, even so, farmers of Kumikrom. We know that you think about the welfare of farmers.Yes, we are going to have a big plantation at Kumikrom and name it after Mr Aidoo. Again, he is now the Cocoa Nkosuohene of Kumikrom Bankyease.”
Later, the District Chief Farmer for Bekwai, Nana Obinyebida, with the supports of chief of Kumikrom, Nana Barima Akowuah, presented Mr Boahen with a kente cloth and offered libation prayer signifying his installation.
They also prayed for longevity and protection for Mr Aidoo as he served cocoa farmers in the country.
Accepting the honour, Mr Aidoo thanked the community and pledged to serve the people of Kumikrom and also ensure the improvement of their welfare.
He said “This is an honour not to me, but, to God Almighty, to you farmers and COCOBOD. What you have done means that I have remained here.”
Mr Aidoo announced that COCOBOD would soon supply irrigators to cocoa areas to improve supply of water on farms and ensure uninterrupted farming season throughout the year and also check climate change.
Meanwhile, Chief of Kumikrom, Nana Barima Akowuah II, had appealed to the CEO to expedite action on the land ownership issues.
FROM CLEMENT ADZEI BOYE, KUMIKROM BANKYEASE