The Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod), Mr. Joseph Boahene Aidoo has appealed to cocoa farmers in the country to adhere strictly to all the safety protocols in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
He noted that many people have still not understood the nature of the virus, hence the need to deepen understanding especially cooperative farmers in the hinterlands.
Mr.Boahene Aidoo was addressing Cocoa farmers at separate functions at Nsuaem No.2 and Wassa-Afransie in the Dunkwa and Wassa-Akropong Districts as part of a working visit to Dunkwa in the Western South Region.
The programme was under the auspices of the Western South Regional Manager of Cocoa Health and Extension Division ( CHED), Mr. Samuel Asare Ankamah.
The CEO said the virus which enters the body through the hand and mouth is very slippery like shea butter and therefore demands regular washing of hands, especially with hot water.
Mr.Aidoo reminded the farmers to stop rubbing their hands and eyes as well as ears so that they are not infected with the disease.
He asked the cooperative farmers to ensure social distancing and wear the face masks as they work together on their farms.
The CEO advised the farmers to adopt good eating habits and eating more vegetables and fruits, exercise regularly, stop smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol all to boost their immune system.
He advised Cocoa farmers who use toxic chemicals for spraying to stop since it was inimical to their health as it destroys the nervous system.
He said Cocoa beans from Ghana was once rejected in Japan under the suspicion of nurturing the farm with 24D, a toxin.
Mr. Aidoo said Cocobod would not buy Cocoa beans sprayed with chemicals such as “Condemned”, adding that weedicides kill organisms in the soil and that is why Cocobod supplied farmers with motorized slashers.
He advised them to enrich the impoverished soil with organic manure.
The former Western Regional Minister also advised schoolchildren to eat cocoa-related foods since it would help boost their immune system.
He observed that some Western countries have turned Cocoa into various products and that same must be done in Ghana to boost the immune system, prolong longevity, and reduce blood pressure.
Mr Aidoo said Cocoa farming was lucrative than any venture in Ghana and asked farmers to prune their farms regularly in addition to hand pollination in a bid to harvest about 1,000 pods on one tree.
The CEO used the occasion to donate Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to cocoa farmers in the two communities to protect them from contracting the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.