Ghana is aiming to achieve an annual cocoa production of 1.5 mmt within the next four years through reforms, chairman of Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Hackman Owusu-Agyemang said
Owusu-Agyemang, who was addressing the official opening of the West Africa Fertilizer and Agribusiness Conference, said that the necessary measures, including hi-tech agronomy practices, were being implemented to reach this target.
"It is our objective to achieve a targeted 1.5 mmt in the next couple of years. The achievement of this projection is dependent on a number of factors, including soil fertility management, pests and disease control, and artificial pollination of farms," Owusu-Agyemang said.
Payment of remunerative producer price, quality of planting material, the adoption of irrigation on farms and replanting of over-aged cocoa farms are some other measure that would support the attainment of the target. He also urged the African and West African blocs to work together in providing and ensuring access to farm inputs for their farmers.
Namanga Ngongi, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the African Fertiliser and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP), who also attended the four day event, said that without adopting improved technology, Africa could not tap into the transformative power of agriculture to fight hunger and poverty.
Almost 60 percent of the world's arable lands are in Africa, yet yields were low because African farmers could not produce food surpluses with tools and equipment at their disposal, Ngongi pointed out.
"They are constrained by poor rains and lack and access to better inputs, improved and resilient crop varieties, better farming methods and low uptake of other technologies to trigger agriculture enterprise. Value addition is the key we need to turn and open the door to Africa's new agri-preneurs," he stressed.