Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has begun a process to inaugurate district task forces across the seven cocoa growing regions in line with the implementation of its CODAPEC/HI TECH programmesto ensure that farm inputs are distributed to farmers free of charge in accordance with laid down procedures.
In theWestern North Region, where three Districts Task Forces were inaugurated at separate occasions at Bibiani and Sefwi Wiawso, Mr James Kofi Kutsoati, the Deputy Chief Executive In Charge of Operations of COCOBOD in a statement read on behalf of the Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Dr. Stephen Kwabena Opuni urged the members of the task forcesto demonstrate a sense of commitment, diligence and patriotism in the discharge of their duties.
Dr. Opuni observed that the inclusion of the state security apparatus in the composition of the District Task Forces is necessary in the fight against diversion and smuggling of the inputs. He disclosed that after a careful review of the CODAPEC /HITECH programmes, COCOBOD has increased the quantity of inputs for the 2015/16 crop year by 10% and said this will help to increase crop yields.
The Chief Executive advised cocoa farmers to cooperate with extension officers to measure their farms to enable them benefit from the free fertilizer and chemical distribution programmes. He encouraged farmers to avoid naked fires to prevent fire outbreaks on their farms. Mr. Kutsoati later administered the oath of office and charged the members of the Task Force to ensure fairness and transparency in their operations for the advancement of the cocoa industry.
The District Task Force is headed by the District Cocoa Officer working together with District Chief Farmer, Representative of Licensed Buying Companies, District Cocoa Extension Coordinator, District Woman Chief Farmer, District Quality Control Officer, District Police Commander, District Bureau of National InvestigationOfficer (BNIOfficer), two farmers nominated by the MDCEs in consultation with the district cocoa officer as well as the District NADMO Coordinator.
In the new modality however, the Municipal/District Chief Executive will exercise oversight responsibility of the operations of CODAPEC/HITECH since they are critical national programmes.