Artificial pollination to increase cocoa production-COCOBOD

COCOBOD is optimistic the introduction of artificial Pollination programme in the Cocoa sector will significantly increase cocoa production, the mainstay of the Ghana economy and also increase income of Cocoa Farmers.
The introduction of the hand pollination technique Programme which was launched weeks ago by COCOBOD has engaged 10,000 agricultural graduates for the first face of the programme.
Rev.Dr.Emmanuel Ahia Clottey of Cocoa Health and Extension Division of COCOBOD, told Ultimate News, “from the records,we have national average of 400kg per Hectare and that translates to 2.8 bags per acre. When you calculate, you realize that most of the flowers of the cocoa tree are not pollinated so they are aborted, from the records only about 5% of the flowers are pollinated so this new policy of Ghana COCOBOD is to engage pollinators people with a little BSc background then their trained to do the pollination instead of natural pollination’.
According to Dr.Clottey, this year COCOBOD “we have about 1,111 cocoa trees per hectare of land, if you are able to pollinate and get about 50 pods per tree,your are going to get about 55,000 pods per hectare. About 1000 pods will give you one bag of cocoa beans. So if you calculate ,you are getting over 39 bags, that is over 2,400 kilos per hectare. So the pollination is very very important, in the short time will increase the productivity of our cocoa farmers and get more from the same farm. You don’t need to expand or increase your acreage. The national average 450kg per Hectare but this will take you to over 2,400 more than 6 times increase. We have started and we know very soon farmers will enjoy. We are pollinating about 50,000 acres this year and next year management has planned to engage about 30,000 pollinators for this work for about three to four years.”
Dr.Ahia Clottey said this in an interview with Ultimate News at the sidelines of the 1st Anniversary celebration of Saviour Cocoa Farmers Association held at Akyem Osiem in the Eastern region.
By: Ghana/ Ansah