Ghana, the world’s second-biggest cocoa producer, began a program to distribute higher-yielding trees to farmers in a bid to rehabilitate old plantations and boost output of the chocolate ingredient.
The 19 million-cedi ($10 million) program “will replace over-aged and unyielding trees and increase national output,” said Tony Fofie, chief executive officer of the state-run Ghana Cocoa Board, in the Brong Ahafo region town of Goaso today.
As many as 20 million seedlings will be sent to farmers and 2,000 jobs for youth who will nurse the young trees will be created, Fofie said in an interview.
Ghana has been seeking ways to boost output of the beans, the country’s second-biggest foreign-currency earner, including supplying farmers with fertilizer and pesticides to increase yields.
Production rose to a record high of more than 1 million metric tons last season and output is seen at 850,000 tons to 900,000 tons for the 2011-2012 year, according to the Accra- based cocoa board.
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