From Samuel Mensah Torbizo, Kumasi
The COCOBOD, through Cocoa Health Extension Division (CHED), has begun the distributions of different brands of fertilizers to cocoa farmers, whose farms have been measured under the free fertilizer supply exercise in the Ashanti region.
Currently all the qualified cocoa farmers in the region, are benefiting from the distribution of 69,245 bags of Adom fertilizer, 100,000 bags of Elete brand fertilizer ,141432 bags of Duapa fertilizer, 35000 cartons of Sidaco litovite (liquid fertilizer),10,120 cartons of fungicides 5,500 cartons of champion, and 1,282 cartons of Nordex .
CHED would, however, later distribute the available fungicides, as well as 5,800 boxes of the Akate Power and 2,450 cartons of Akate Master in
Farmers whose farms are not measured and those, whose farms are above thirty years, are exempted from the exercise.
The Ashanti Regional Manager of CHED, Mrs. Faustine Asamany , in an exclusive interview with The Herald , cautioned some of the unscrupulous
farmers and their collaborators, to desist from diverting the inputs for sale in the open markets.
According to her, the inputs are strictly not for sale, hence the law would ruthlessly deal with any farmer or person caught to be trading in them.
She explained that, COCOBOD in its efforts to ensure that the beneficiary farmers apply the fertilizers on the farms to maximize yields, it
has been working under ground with the security services to impound on such culprits.
“I want to make it clear to our cherished cocoa farmers who have qualified for the supply of the inputs that these items not for sale, they are supposed to apply them on their farms because they are just custodians of the inputs until they use them for the intended purposes,” she declared.
“We are working with the security personnel to apprehend farmers who for their selfish gains sometimes misappropriate the inputs,’’ she remarked.
Mrs. Asamnay, made it known to The Herald that, last year 7 people were arrested in the Ashanti region for diverting the inputs, while 36 persons nation wide were apprehended for same offense.
She urged all patriotic citizens to be on the look out to report any person suspected of trading in the cocoa inputs to the security, because these products have security features based on regional and district specifications which made them traceable.
“ I want to make a passionate appeal to you the media and all other concerned citizens to be on guards to report any person selling such inputs, because they have special distinctions to track them from the open markets,’’ she appealed.
Mrs. Asamany, disclosed that to boost bumper harvest in the cocoa sector, 10.2 million hybrid seedlings, have been raised for free distribution to the farmers in Ashanti region alone.