While current trend is encouraging cocoa farmer to use pesticide sprays but a senior university professor familiar with these products explained the practice of “mass sprays” can severely influence cocoa production.
Prof. Peter Kwapong, lecturer at the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Cape Coast, said the “mass spraying” program could leave highly negative consequences on lives of pollinators and ultimately on cocoa sector.
Mr. Kwapong noted the massive concerns are with the food security and yield as producers will continue to kill friendly entities with pesticides, insecticides and weedicides, rather farmers can use traditional or natural sources to take down unwanted pests.
Mass Spraying Effect on Cocoa Yield
Prof. Kwapong is the national representative of the Global Pollination Project. The international project includes seven countries including Ghana, Brazil, Kenya, Nepal, Pakistan, India and South Africa, which emphasis pollinator role as a pivotal factor to food security and food production.
Global Pollination Project is run by the support of international environmental agencies like United Nations Environment Programme, Global Environment Facility.
Addressing the second workshop for journalists from Upper West, Upper East, Northern, Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions, Prof. Kwapong illumined the role of pollinators.
He acknowledged pests are serious concern to crops but there were many natural ways to control pests rather destroying both pests and beneficial agents of production.
According to him country’s cocoa production could drop by 90 percent if main pollinator, midges, is destroyed, while mango yield may drop by 40 to 90 percent without its pollinators, hence he asked farmers to avoid from unfriendly practice.
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