The Acting Deputy Director of the Cocoa Health Extension Division of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Dr. Emmanuel Nii Tackie–Otoo, has said the inadequate number of community extension agents in the cocoa growing communities remains a challenge to Ghana’s cocoa sector.
He noted that there are about 450 cocoa growing communities in Ghana which are not benefiting from the service of these personal and the impact on their cocoa production cannot be underrated.
According to him, about 40 percent of Ghana’s cocoa stock are either diseased or moribund, which calls for urgent action to remedy the situation.
Dr. Otoo, disclosed this to some cocoa farmers at Anyinabrim, in the Sefwi Wiaso Municipality of the Western Region, during the 2nd ‘Cocoa Dialogue Series’ organized by the Ghana Agricultural and Rural Development Journalists Association (GARDJA).
The circumstance is not good for cocoa production, due to the situation, he noted that there is pressure on the few extension officers.
Dr. Tackie-Otoo, also indicated that the decision to explore the use of technology (drones) in disease detection in the cocoa sector, would go long way to improve the cocoa production, since, the drones, will able to cover hectors of cocoa farms within an hour.
The decision of management to fall on drones usage in the cocoa farming communities, as a result of the inadequate number of extension agents.
He said, the drones, will aid the COCOBOD to know the actual problems on the field and will guide them to act swiftly on pressing issues underpinning the cocoa farming.