Cocoa farming in the country will soon become less labourious as Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) takes delivery of some 100,000 pieces of motorized slashers for distribution to cocoa farmers across the country through farmer cooperatives.
The Sharp Power 4T motorized pruner and slasher picked up the award for the Farm Implement of the Year at the 2019 edition of the Ghana Cocoa Awards.
The introduction of the award-winning dual-purposed Sharp Power 4T Motorized pruners and slashers in the general maintenance of cocoa farms is necessary to reduce the drudgery and discomfort farmers go through in managing their farms.
This assurance was given by Dr. Emmanuel Agyemang Dwomoh, Deputy Chief Executive of COCOBOD in charge Agronomy & Quality Control at a 2 -day demonstrative trainer of trainees’ workshop organized by the Cocoa Health & Extension Division of COCOBOD at the Bunso Cocoa College in the Eastern Region.
Addresssing the over 200 participants made up of Regional Managers, District and Regional Extension Coordinators drawn from all the cocoa regions, Dr. Agyemang Dwomoh described pruning as a crucial agronomic and productivity enhancement activity that must be given all the needed attention to boost yield. He added that COCOBOD had banned the use of weedicides in cocoa farming and introduced motorized slashers as a better alternative to weeds control.
Explaining further, he said the machines could be used for clearing weeds as well as cutting unwanted branches on a cocoa tree without any difficulties.
According to him, the slashers are easy to use and could clear a hectare of land within 2 hours.
”About 14% of areas marked for pruning was achieved last year, but this year, the target is to ensure 100% pruning of all farms”, he added.
Dr. Dwomoh urged the participants to ensure that they train the end-users properly to prevent frequent breakdown of the machines.
”Since you interface with farmers, Management is fully relying on you for the success of this good initiative”, he noted
He further encouraged the trainers to pay attention to every bit of information given by the facilitators to enable them train various volunteers in cocoa communities to use the machines properly.
He noted that the machines should be used only after the user had put on the right safety gear to prevent accidents due to careless handling.
The Head of Business at Crop Doctor, Mr. Sudhir Kumar took the participants through the assembling processes of the machines to ensure its optimal use.
He was grateful to COCOBOD for the partnership and pledged his outfit’s support towards the implementation of the intervention.
Mr Abdul Majeed, Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Manager of CHED was happy the workshop would equip them with the requisite knowledge to enable them train end-users on the proper use of the machines to support cocoa farming.