Source: GNA - Ghana Cocoa Board's Youth in Cocoa Farming programme currently has over 30,000 young men and women engaged in the initiative and are being supported with the necessary inputs, Vice president Kwesi Amissah-Arthur has revealed.
He said government recognises the challenge in helping the Ghana Cocoa Board to address the problem by providing inputs including free fertiliser and agro chemicals as well as extension services to guarantee the sustainability of cocoa production.
He said: "Ghana as a country we have identified one of the challenges as the lack of motivation for the youth to embrace cocoa farming and take over from the ageing farmers.
He explained that currently, Ghana Cocoa Board has initiated the youth in cocoa farming programme and a number of cocoa growing communities have been provided with seeds.
The programme is also aimed at identifying young men and women to engage in cocoa farming and also to attract new ones to take up the lucrative agricultural venture.
Vice President Amissah-Arthur said presently the Ghana Cocoa Board in collaboration with certified bodies like the Rain Forest Alliance and Fair Trade has set up certification standards for cocoa production and members are educated on good agronomic practices in order to ensure sustainability of cocoa production whilst addressing environmental and ethical issues.
He said government has been active by providing direct support to farmers including cocoa spraying and extension services to farmers to educate them on good agronomic practices and prevent crop losses and the production of good cocoa.
He noted that the Ghana Cocoa Board has also initiated the cocoa rehabilitation and replanting programme to assist farmers to rehabilitate and replant old diseased and abandoned cocoa farms.
He said this year 50 million hybrid cocoa seedlings are being distributed to farmers free of charge and the programme would continue annually to ensure job sustainability.
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