The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) is teaming up with the Government to fix sections of the Eastern Corridor road, Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Chief Executive of COCOBOD said on Tuesday.
He said all technicalities had been resolved and contractors on-site to fix the Have to Hohoe and Hohoe to Jasikan stretches of the Corridor.
Mr Aidoo said this when he interacted with journalists in Ho as part of his three-day working visit to farms, farmers, and project sites of COCOBOD in the Volta and Oti regions.
He said the road projects, being done under co-financing, would be completed between two to three years to give relief to cocoa farmers.
“These roads are dear to the government and our farmers. Without good roads, the government’s interventions and supports can’t reach farmers and we also can’t transport cocoa beans from the farms to Tema Habour. So we need the roads badly and they will soon be fixed,” Mr Aidoo said.
He commended the Volta Regional Security Council (REGSEC) for efforts at reducing the smuggling of Ghana’s cocoa to the neighbouring republic of Togo.
Mr Aidoo said the Council intercepted over 600 bags of cocoa being smuggled to Togo between 2019 and this year and urged it to “continue the noble duty.”
He said the Board of Directors of COCOBOD had approved a compensation package of two-thirds of the value of proceeds gotten from seized cocoa beans to security agencies and officers involved in interceptions to motivate them.
“Every tonne of cocoa that leaves our country illegally costs us four hundred dollars so we have to do this to protect our cocoa and our economy,” Mr Aidoo stated.
He said a total of 3.6 million hybrid cocoa seedlings had been raised for 3,000 hectares of cocoa land areas to be rehabilitated in the region.
Mr Aidoo said in the short term, COCOBOD had introduced hand pollination and scaled up mass pruning to enhance flowering and asked farmers to take advantage of the interventions.
He said COCOBOD, through Government was also spending between 200 and 300 million dollars to tackle diseases and overaged cocoa farms and called for support of all.
Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa, Volta Regional Minister said the Region remained a key player in the cocoa sector and stated the readiness of REGSEC to stop the smuggling of cocoa across the borders.
Mr Wisdom Delali Amexame, Regional Manager responsible for intelligence and security, COCOBOD, told the GNA that Volta and Oti regions produced averagely 8000 tonnes of cocoa annually in three cocoa growing districts.