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The Voice of Cocoa

150,000 Cocoa Seedlings Distributed to Farmers in Ashanti Region

The Asante-Akim South Municipal Assembly of Ghana’s Ashanti Region has distributed 150,000 hybrid cocoa seedlings to farmers in its bid to increase yield and improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers in the Municipality.

The exercise, which formed part of the implementation of the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) programme in the Municipality, was supervised by the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr. Alexander Frimpong.

About 400 farmers, who benefitted also received 30,000 tree seedlings to plant alongside the cocoa seedlings to protect their farms and also mitigate the impact of climate change.

Each farmer, according to Mr Frimpong, would plant eight trees per acre of cocoa farm and the expectation was that more trees would be planted as more farmers benefit from the programme.

It is a collaborative arrangement between the Assembly, the Forestry Commission (FC), the Department of Agriculture, COCOBOD and Kuapa Kokoo Limited.

Six strategically located sites at Dampong, Atwedie, Odubi, Komeso, Tokwai-Odumase and Obogu, had been designated as nursery sites for both the cocoa and tree seedlings.

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The MCE said the Assembly decided to partner other stakeholders this year to impact not only the lives of the farmers, but also the environment.

He said the FC released 65 of its afforestation workers to support the tree seedling nursery, which was integrated into the exercise for environmental protection.

He underlined the need for the farmers to nurture the trees just as the cocoa, saying that, they would not only protect their investments but stood the chance to reap economic benefits in the near future.

The MCE recounted how the impact of climate change had destroyed many buildings through rainstorms in the Municipality over the years and charged the farmers and other citizens to cultivate the habit of planting trees.

He said the PERD programme was introduced by government to make farming more lucrative and urged the farmers, especially the youth, to embrace it to improve their lives.

He announced that about 300,000 cocoa seedlings would be nursed next year and urged farmers who had not benefited yet to exercise patience.

The chiefs of the various communities praised government for the laudable intervention and urged the assembly to increase the seedlings for more farmers to benefit.

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