Cocoa farmers have been called to continue to apply best farming practices to sustain the production of quality cocoa beans for the nation.
"Ghana is among the best cocoa producing countries and we can't afford to lose our credibility".
Nana Karikari Addo, the acting Managing Director (MD) of Quality Control Company Limited (QCCL) of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), said this to a gathering of farmers at a rally held at Goaso in the Ahafo Region.
The one-day event jointly organised by the Cocoa Health Extension Division (CHED) of COCOBOD and the QCCL attracted about 600 cocoa farmers from the entire Ahafo Region who asked questions and expressed concerns about the challenges confronting them in the production of the commodity.
Nana Addo said Ghana is second to La Cote d' Ivoire, the highest cocoa producing country, and government is committed to giving incentive packages to encourage farmers to work harder.
The acting MD of QCCL said there is a bill before Parliament to ensure standard price stability of the commodity and this would help reduce the undue price determination from the international market.
He said COCOBOD has procured 2.2 billion bags this year for distribution to farmers to cover 3,700 hectares of land in the cocoa production sector.
It was highly subsidized for farmers and the mode of payment was spread for three cocoa years, Nana Addo said.
He said COCOBOD is in the process of introducing electronic cocoa weighing scales to prevent corrupt purchasing clerks from cheating farmers.
Nana Addo said some unscrupulous purchasing clerks have adjusted the weighing scales so as to cheat the cocoa farmers, hence the introduction of the electronic scale.
Nana Kwasi Bosompra I, the Paramount Chief of Goaso Traditional Area, who presided over the event, urged cocoa farmers to engage the services of Agricultural Extension Agents (AEAs) in their efforts.