GHANA – Dr. Stephen Opuni, Chief Executive of COCOBOD, has indicated the government’s unwavering determination to make cocoa farming more attractive and rewarding.
It would continue to introduce incentive packages and provide strong technical and extension services support to raise production levels and returns to the farmer.
He said this in an address read for him at the first anniversary celebration of the Akuafo Anigye Young Farmers Association at New Edubiase in the Adansi South District.
Dr. Opuni gave the assurance that the free supply of high-yielding and disease-resistant seedlings, improved access to fertilizers, fungicides and insecticides would continue.
Cocoa, he noted, was critical to the economy and that was why everything would be done to entice young people to sustain its production.
He expressed satisfaction with the rate at which the youth were taking to cocoa growing and said about 40,000 of them were already into that business.
They are spread across the Ashanti, Central, Eastern, Western and the Volta Regions.
Dr. Opuni called on chiefs and other land owners to make land available on flexible and favorable terms to young people eager to go into cocoa farming to earn decent living.
A Member of the Council of State, Mr. Abraham Adusei, described farming as lucrative and called on the people to invest in that sector.
He applauded the government for its efforts at getting the youth to take to the land, to bring down the growing unemployment among them.
The District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Benjamin Anhwere, said all cocoa roads in the area had been rehabilitated, something that had brought enormous comfort to the farmers.