Cocoa farmers in Ghana are being introduced to motorised slashers (weeding machines) in order to accelerate the production of Cocoa.
The motorised slashers according to the Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, Mr Boahen Aidoo were invented to clear the cocoa farms of the farmers and as well assist in the pruning of the trees.
The motorised slashers will also help the fast production of cocoa since farmers will be able to clear and maintain large-sized cocoa farms with ease and pace.
Mr Boahen said the introduction of the motorised slashers will assist to sketch out the frequent application of weedicides which has overly deteriorated the soil nutrients necessary for the growth of cocoa.
Mr Boahen Aidoo during the national launch of Farmer Cooperatives in the cocoa sector in Kumasi submitted:
“Weedicides since its inception have mostly fought against micro-organisms that produce the fertility of the soil.
The use of the motorised slashers will drastically reduce the application of the agrochemicals”.
He warned, foreign countries have lost taste in the consumption of Ghana’s cocoa, a major foreign exchange earner however the levels of agrochemicals generated in the cocoa beans is a source of worry.
The CEO mentioned that COCOBOD has banned the use of weedicides hence the introduction of the motorized slashers which will advance cocoa production as well as make it attractive to foreign countries.
The slashers are expected to be distributed to farmers through the various cocoa cooperatives in the country by October 2019.
Farmers who are not in cooperatives will be disadvantaged.
“It will be very difficult to access the weeding machine if you are not a member of any of the cooperatives,” the CEO warned, urging all cocoa farmers to join cocoa cooperatives.