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Cocobod unveils New Anti-Capsid Insecticide To Farmers

The Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED) of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), has  unveiled new anti-Capsid (Akate) insecticide named “Transform Akate” to cocoa farmers in the Ashanti region and Ghana as well to help  increase productivity.  The launching took place at Manso Antoakrom in the Amansie West District of Ashanti yesterday.  Speaking at the event , the director of Cocoa health extension Division-Cocobod, Mr Samuel Amponsah who spoke on behalf of Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD said, “Transform Akate” Insecticide launch at  Antoakrom eventually leads to the availability of recommended chemicals to farmers and ultimately sustain the Cocoa industry. “It is well noted that, the sustainability of the Industry partly depends on producing premium cocoa devoid of residues which requires farmers conformity to set standard by regulatory bodies’. According to him, the product has no harmful effects on useful insects such as  bees; it has no toxic effect on fish, mammals and has a very fast degradation with a half-life of less than a day. He said, Ghana Cocoa Board has at it’s mandate to ensure the sustainability of the Cocoa industry through pest and disease control, rehabilitation of old and unproductive farms, seedlings distribution to farmers, extension, pruning and pollination. He added that measures have put in place to enhance productivity instituting compensation plan where caretakers and land owners of diseased and rehabilitation farms are paid ex-gratia productivity enhancement programme such as pruning and pollination lead to higher pod loads and must therefore be protected from pests and disease like Capsid attack and blackpod infections which could lead to significant loses of yield pests in cocoa production are major threats to the Cocoa industry and have the potential to  increase loses by more than 50%. “Insect pests have the potential to reduce yield by more than 30%. Mr Amponsah further assured that COCOBOD is poised to protect yield from farms by strengthening CODAPEC and ensuring availability of pesticides (Insecticide and fungicide) to farmers at the appropriate time in the year to help combat pests attack. Adding that, “Transform Akate” Insecticide are provided as a strategic stock to curtail Anomis invasion which is mostly beyond farmers control. “The CODAPEC programme being an intervention is a shared responsibility and therefore farmers are expected to fulfill their part by supporting the programme and also adopting the recommended cultural practice to limit pest population below economic damage level or make farms less conducive for pests to live. The CODAPEC programme does not cover the recommended number of times of Spraying within a year and for that matter farmers are expected to fill in the gap”. It has therefore become necessary to make available approved chemicals (Insecticide and fungicide) to farmers at affordable prices to enable farmers complete the Spraying process by providing supplementary support to that of CODAPEC, he revealed. Mr Amponsah made it well known that, in the light of the above submissions is the reason why COCOBOD support the launching of “Transform Akate” which is a contact and systemic Insecticide approved by Cocoa Research Institute. “This launching is a step by COCOBOD to ensure availability and affordability of approved Insecticide to cocoa farmers. He noted, complains have been made about the use of unapproved Insecticide and their side effects on the ecosystem as well as the build-up of residues that could compromise the premium quality of Ghana cocoa beans. He said these criticism emanate from the use of unapproved Insecticide and over application of Insecticide on the part of farmers. Transform Akate is a unique to it’s active ingredient “Isoclast” which is developed to manage hard-to-control and economically important insect pests. In his speech, he revealed that Isoclast provide excellent knockdown and residual control and is highly at low rates. Again, it protect entire plant leaves not just the side sprayed. He therefore recommended that for the Effective control of capsid Transform Akate is the best to opted by cocoa farmers in Ghana. He advised all the farmers presents  during the launching to abide the precautions measures on the product when applying it and ask them to educate their fellow Farmers who couldn’t participate the launching on how to apply the product”. Source /Kwabena Antwi 

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