Officials of the Cocoa Pest and Disease Control (CODAPEC) programme of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) have initiated steps to address a number of factors inhibiting the mass cocoa spraying exercise.
This has become necessary due to some teasing issues most especially at the local levels that are making it difficult for officials of the programme to send the Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) such as nose masks to all spraying team across the country.
According to CODAPEC, there are community and district force that oversee the activities of the spraying team. However, the communities wield enormous power over the spraying team to the extent that they can hire and fire them at any time.
Due to this factor, CODAPEC together with all stakeholders in the cocoa sector have begun creating a sense of awareness to educate the communities regarding doing away with all factors that truncate the mass spraying exercise.
“If we have provided the equipment to a particular sprayer and he is fired, the new one coming in most likely will not get the equipment”, Director of CODAPEC, Dr. Gilbert Anim-Kwapong, told the Goldstreet Business last Wednesday in Accra.
Currently, CODAPEC has over 6,500 sprayers across the country. Out of this, 2,500 spray insecticides whiles over 3,000 spray fungicides who mostly work for five months in a year. A spraying team is made up of seven people, comprising of six sprayers and a supervisor whiles for black pod, the team consists of 10 sprayers and a supervisor.
The CODAPEC programme was introduced in 2001/2 cocoa season as part of measures to assist all cocoa farmers in the country to control pests and diseases.