The Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED) of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), has introduced a new anti-Capsid (Akate) insecticide to cocoa farmers across the Country, to aid increased coca yield.
Named:‘Transform Akate,’ the product would help battle the age-long Capsid infestation known in local parlance as ‘Akate’ and other destructive insect borers that swarm pre-harvest cocoa farms and attack stems, branches, pods and beans.
Dr. Richard Adu-Acheampong, Senior Researcher at the Cocoa Research Institute said the product, which would initially be distributed free to cocoa farmers, would be launched on June 19, at Antoakrom in the Amansie West District of Ashanti.
Speaking at a day’s pre-launch training programme held at Kumasi to engage frontline CHED Officials, farmers and other stakeholders, said ‘Transform Akate’ had undergone series of tests at the Cocoa Research Institute at Bunso in the Eastern Region during the last two years.
The training was organized by COCOBOD in collaboration with the Corteva Company Ltd. and AgriPlus Ltd. in Ghana, manufactures and distributors of ‘Transform Akate’.
The Regional Manager, District Cocoa Officers the District Extension Coordinators of CHED, the Regional and District Chief Farmers, Community Chief Farmers and supervisors of the cocoa mass spraying teams among other relevant stakeholders within the cocoa sector, attended.
Mr Adu-Acheampong said the new insecticide has proven to have high potency and assured of its safety to the user farmer, the cocoa plant and the environment.
“The product with its active ingredient ‘Isoclast’ has been produced based on strong innovations, research and development in the agricultural sector and has the ability to break the resistance of ‘Akate’ and other harmful insects that affect the cocoa farms and undermine maximum yield”, he added.
“The product has no harmful effects on useful insects such as the bee; it has no toxic effect on fish and mammals and has a very fast degradation with a half-life of less than a day.
Again, the product has a favorable profile as compared to other insecticides on the market which contains ‘Clothianidin’ and ‘Imidacloprid’ with longer shelf lives of 800 days and 750 days respectively’’, the researcher added.
“We don’t want the quality of the Ghanaian cocoa beans to be compromised in any way on the local and international markets, so that the livelihood and businesses of our farmers would be sustained,’ he emphasized.
Mr. Kwadwo Danso, the Ashanti Regional CHED Manager cautioned the farmers and all others who would be responsible for the distribution against selling the product, warning that offenders would face prosecution.
Alhaji Ahmed Abubakar, Key Account Manager of Corteva Company Ltd. in Nigeria and Ghana said the ‘Transform Akate’ had already been introduced and marketed in the Ivory Coast and is now in high demand due to its potency and efficacy.
Mr. Stephen Appiah Yeboah, the Sales and Marketing Manager of AgriPlus Ltd. urged CHED and the Cocoa Diseases and Pests Control Programme (CODAPEC) of the COCOBOD, to strengthen coordination in the distribution of the product to the farmers and also facilitate assessment of their feedback in order to sustain gains.
Nana Samuel Yaw Akuoko, the Ashanti Regional Chief Farmer commended COCOBOD and partners for the initiative and urged the farmers to adhere to all necessary instructions with regard to product usage.