News gathered by Radio 1 News on Tuesday December 4, 2018 when the News Team visited the said community indicate that out of the numerous concerns of the Cocoa farmers in the area, pests like stem borers, Ephids (Atee), Capsid (Akate) and diseases such as Swollen shoot, Blackpod Disease (Anonom) together with lack of Fertilizer supply has hindered production growth in Cocoa in the Cocoa growing Community- Ankaase.
Ankaase is a Cocoa growing community in the Atiwa East District of the Eastern Region which could boast of until recently very high production of Cocoa in the entire region.
In interviews with the cocoa farmers, it was revealed that though cocoa farming is the major form of farming in the area, pests are worrying them. When Stem borers, Ephids (Atee), Capsid (Akate) and Mistletoes are forces to reckon with, swollen shoot disease and Blackpod diseases are their headaches.
They complained that Extension officers have not been paying them regular visits, education on cocoa farming has also been very low.
The Cocoa farmers revealed to the able Radio 1 News team that access to fertilizer has been a very big challenge. Inasmuch as they are even ready to purchase, they are not available. Again, Artificial Pollination which is very good for the farmers have questions with its implementation since only selected farms benefit from the program.
They however made heartfelt appeal to the government and the Agric Ministry to consider their plea and help them for they are really suffering.