Mr Maxwell Kofi Asiedu, the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Kadjebi in the Oti Region has expressed his profound appreciation to the management of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) for awarding contracts for the construction of the Hohoe to Jasikan and the Have to Hohoe roads, under the cocoa roads construction programme.
The two stretches of road together form a vast and critical portion of the eastern corridor roads, Mr Asiedu noted. It is an important route which connects the region to other parts of the country, yet, for many years it has not been given the needed attention, till now.
The Kadjebi DCE said this when he accompanied the Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Hon. Joseph Boahen Aidoo, to visit a 19-acre cocoa farm at Kadjebi Konsuaso, which belongs to 24-year-old Komla Adjei, who disclosed during the visit, that he inherited the farm from his deceased father.
Mr Asiedu was surefooted that when completed, it will ease the difficulties that motorists face when using the road, this includes the trucks which bring cocoa to COCOBOD’s warehousing facilities in the south. He, however, requested that other connecting roads which go deep into the communities should be considered during the next round of the award of contracts.
The two road projects are being constructed using a co-financing mechanism. The stretch from Hohoe to Jasikan will be completed in two years, while that from Have to Hohoe will take three years to complete.
Hon. Joseph Boahen Aidoo on his part said that COCOBOD remains committed to improving the lives of cocoa farmers and their communities. It is in keeping with this commitment that the cocoa authority facilitates the construction of roads and schools, and provides other amenities in cocoa communities.
He expressed the hope that cocoa farmers in the Oti and Volta Regions can through effective pruning, the timely application of adequate amounts of fertiliser and hand pollination increase their yield volumes.
He cautioned against the sale of cocoa beans to individuals instead of the Licenced Buying Companies(LBCs). These individuals – who the locals only refer to as Alhajis – head the syndicates who smuggle cocoa beans into neighbouring Togo; resulting in a loss of revenue for the country.
Hon. Joseph Boahen Aidoo shared this same message with other farmers when he visited several farms throughout the day and interacted with cooperatives.
During each of these visits, he and his delegation made up of two of his three deputies as well as the heads of various divisions, departments and subsidiaries of COCOBOD, took turns to educate farmers on pruning, fertilizer application, hand pollination, the adverse effect of weedicides, among others.