Technology for all-year-round cocoa production unveiled

A new technology designed to supply continuous water to cocoa farmers for all-year-round production has been introduced by Mondelez International, implementer of Cocoa Life Programme.

The programme is meant to mitigate the effect of climate change on cocoa production in Ghana and help triple the country’s annual yield.

The technology, known as the Solar-powered Irrigation System, is designed to supply a year-round consistent water supply to over 70,000 cocoa farmers under the Cocoa Life Programme.

It will help cocoa farmers to produce throughout the season and will not have to wait for rainfall to determine their annual yields.

Speaking at the launch of the first pilot project of the new technology at Otwebediedua in the Eastern Region, the Head of Cocoa Life Programme in Ghana, Mrs Yaa Peprah Amekudzi, said the new technology would ensure that cocoa would get the required litres of water for high yields throughout the year.

She explained that the technology had been introduced to solve the perennial complaint of cocoa farmers about the erratic and unpredictable rainfall, which continued to affect cocoa production in the country.

“As an organisation committed to helping cocoa farmers benefit from their work and also ensure sustainability of cocoa production, we decided to undertake research on how other countries were able to generate enough water supplies for their cocoa production,” Mrs Amekudzi said.

The research, she emphasised, led to the discovery of the solar-powered irrigation system, which has the capacity to supply more than 5000 litres of water hourly, depending on its size.

Mrs Amekudzi said the pilot programme of the irrigation technology would cover 10 farms in the six regions Cocoa Life operates within.

“In all, we operate in 700 communities spread across 18 districts within six regions of Ghana. More than 70,000 cocoa farmers are under the Cocoa Life Programme,” she said.

Mrs Amekudzi added that “with all the policies that Ghana COCOBOD is coming out with, supported by the private sector and cocoa farmers, Ghana can achieve one million metric tonnes of cocoa annually”.

She said next year, a multi-million dollar factory to process cocoa waste would be opened, adding that “this will further boost the cocoa sector”.

A technical aid and member of the research team at Mondelez International, Edward Kumah, said the introduction of the solar irrigation technology would help mitigate the risks associated with climate change.

He said cocoa needed about 30 litres of water per day and if the water requirement was achieved, it would bear fruits throughout the year,

By Times Reporter

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