A political-economy lecturer at the University of Ghana, Professor Kwabena Asomanin Anaman has urged government to strengthen the mass spraying and fertilizer distribution programme in order to increase cocoa income in the country.
According to a report on “Farm Gate Pricing and Income of Cocoa Farmers” launched by SEND Ghana in partnership with INKOTA Netzwerk, indicates that the programme had a significant impact in the production of cocoa since its introduction.
The report further noted that an increase in the number of pesticides spraying and fertilizer distribution beyond the average one per farm year could boost production further and lessen farmers’ burden by ensuring wealth creation.
Professor Anaman, who led the research of the report, in his presentation said the programme ought to be used responsibly in order not to have negative effects on biodiversity, soil and health of farmers.
“The mass spraying and fertilizers distribution programmes should be strengthen in terms of increased quantity and quality of services as the use of both spraying and fertilizers was shown to increase gross cocoa incomes,” he said.
He also disclosed that female cocoa farmers were more likely to be excluded from the mass spraying, and fertilizer distribution exercise than other cocoa farmers who were richer and better resourced.
Professor Anaman further urged that COCOBOD should ensure equitable distribution of resources and services for all cocoa farmers.
The Country Director for SEND Ghana, Mr. George Osei-Bimpeh on his part advised that the findings and recommendations given in the report must be used a guide line to assist other cocoa growing communities.
“Let’s make farming a decent job to help eradicate the immersed problem of unemployment facing our country, there are many job opportunities in the agriculture sector and this can be improved through our collective efforts as partners,” he said.
The report presents a sampled analytical study of farmer’s perceptions on cocoa producer prices, welfare, and income diversification activities in Ghana, using Agona East District as a case study.
It was based on four main objectives which identifies the key players in the cocoa industry involved in the determination and setting of Cocoa producer prices.
By: Emmanuel Yeboah Britwum