The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Joseph Boahen Aidoo, has indicated that the decision by COCOBOD to import and distribute motorized slashers to cocoa farmers in the country was aimed at alleviating the labour intensive aspect of cocoa farming.
He made this known during an interaction with chiefs and people of Pramkese in the Kweibibrem District of the Eastern Region.
He is on a three-day tour of cocoa producing communities in the region, where he will address several rallies.
According to him, it was the policy of the current management to introduce interventions to ease hardships faced by farmers, one of which is weeding.
The move towards the use of motorised slashers, he stated, will phase out the labour-intensive use of machetes and hoes for weeding.
It is also in keeping with the overarching aim to adopt simple user-friendly technologies to ease the work of cocoa farmers and make cocoa farming attractive to the youth, he observed.
The current policy direction, he said, will shift the paradigm from cocoa farming being seen only as an agricultural venture, to a more lucrative and sustainable business opportunity as well as a huge employment avenue; which the youth will find attractive.
The introduction and application of modern farming methods and tools are several years overdue, the COCOBOD Boss acknowledged.
The drudgery of the use of machetes and hoes for weeding often drives farmers to apply weedicides on their farms despite their long-term adverse effect on the cocoa trees and soil fertility.
According to Mr. Aidoo, COCOBOD has concluded plans to purchase the motorised slashers.
They are expected in the country within the first quarter of the 2019/2010 cocoa season.