National Cocoa Rehabilitation Project gets major boost
National Cocoa Rehabilitation Project (NCRP) gets major boost asKumad Global Impact Limited and Afarinick Company Limited, establish the largest plantain nursery atDadieso, in the Suaman District of the Western North Region.
The two indigenous companiesstarted work in December last year, and, currently employ about 900 permanent workers and hope to increase the number to about 2,000 by the end of June, this year.
Working under a Private-Public- Partnership arrangement with Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), they have introduced quality expertise in Ghana’s agricultural value chain and cocoa production, using green technology to multiply plantain suckers on a 400 acre land for the NCRP.
They have forecasted to produce over 100 million plantain suckers in two years to supportthe project.
These were revealed when a lead scientist for Global Impact and Afarinick, Beloved Mensah Dzomeku, briefed the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of COCOBOD,Mr JosephBoahenAidoo, at the nursery last Wednesday, as part of his recent working visit to some NCRP projects in the Western North Region.
He explained that,actual production began in February this year when they transported plantain suckers from Agogo in the Ashanti Region to the site at Dadieso.
MrDzomeku said, propagation ofthe seedling was done after the suckerswere planted in saw dust and covered with polythene and watered, and, that after three weeks, sprouting started.
At week four, the suckers were harvested and transplanted in polythene bags and watering continued, the scientist reported.
He said, every week, a set of plantain suckers were multiplied usingthe propagation chamber at 60 degrees Celsius, filled with saw dust, using solar heat and water, to generate about 32 million planting materials by September.
MrAidoo, for his part, also told journalists that COCOBOD needed a technology to remove pest and diseases onplantain suckers, which were very key forthe ongoing NCRP, so that farms were freed from any attacks.
He noted that when plantain suckers were movedfrom old farms to newones they carried different pests, and so, there wasthe need to get the critical technology from the two companies for a successful programme.
The CEO said“You see that they are applying all the knowledge they have, and have enough plantain suckers for the NCRP. It’s amazing that one plantain sucker can multiply over 100 seedlings, healthy and don’t carry any pest or diseases.We are happy to get these suckers from the companies.
“Plantain provides shades for the young cocoaplant and thisis the engine room for the multiplication of plantain suckers. Farmers are happy with this project. Indeed, we will get more plantain on our farms and at least every Ghanaian will be entitled to one bunch of plantain,” he added.
FROM CLEMENT ADZEI BOYE, DADIESO