New mobile phones with a special application that can help to detect cocoa diseases and also suggest an instant medication for them have been distributed freely to 200 cocoa farmers in the country.
The beneficiaries are members of the Kuapa Kokoo Co-operative Cocoa Farmers and Marketing Union Limited (KKFU). The free mobile phones are to help enhance the production of cocoa in the country.
Making the announcement during an event, the National President of the KKFU, Fatima Ali, disclosed that 6,000 pieces of the special mobile phone would soon be distributed to other farmers of the KKFU.
Speaking at the Editor’s Forum, organized by the KKFU for senior journalists at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Kumasi, Fatima Ali said her group was in talks with telecommunication firm, MTN, to distribute the phones.
According to her, KKFU has realised that diseases, more often than not, prevent hard-working cocoa farmers from increasing their yield, hence the need to introduce technology to fight cocoa diseases.
She revealed: “With the special application on the mobile phone, any disease in the cocoa seedling and the right medication for it will instantly be shown on the phone when it is directly displayed on the cocoa”.
Speaking on a wide range of activities by Kuapa Kokoo, Fatima said her outfit would be a significant shareholder of a new Cocoa Processing Company in the country, which would help add value to cocoa.
According to her, Kuapa Kokoo has employed fresh 60 graduates this year in addition to over 400 graduates employed over the years, adding that her outfit is supporting government’s efforts to fight unemployment.
Also, she said Kuapa Kokoo had taken a firm decision to support some of their farmers in the Brong Ahafo and other areas in the country to go into coffee production, since climate change was adversely affecting cocoa production in those areas.
“Because of climate change, cocoa cultivation in those areas is no more possible and so we want to shift to coffee cultivation to help keep the farmers in business”, she disclosed.
On his part, Mr. Samuel Adimado, MD of Kuapa Kokoo, stated that his group also has the wellbeing of the cocoa farmers at heart, indicating that Kuapa Kokoo Health Insurance Scheme had been launched since 2014 to boost the health needs of farmers.