In their quest to standardize effective and efficient performance in the sector, the Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED) of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has on 30/10/2020 at Volta Regional Office, Hohoe organized training for all Extension Staff. The team that organized the training included Mr. Randy Boatey, National Extension Coordinator, Mr. Ernest Ayivor, head of Information Technology and Benjamin Asante, Information Technology Department.
The training was introduced by Mr. Linus Fiakeye, the Volta Regional Manager of COCOBOD. He welcomed the team from Head office and Extension Staff from Hohoe Kpeve District who have come to receive the training.
Mr. Randy Boatey, National Extension Coordinator stated that, the Programme is geared towards aiding COCOBOD to obtain accurate and up-to-date information and be able to track all activities of Extension Staffs in the industry. He added that, the manual monthly report and itinerary will be replaced with the online platform where Extension Staffs will do all reporting and Schedule reports online. All nine modules: 01-Land selection, measurement, preparation and shade management;02- Weeding including removal of chupons, 03-Pruning;04-Fertilizer; 05-Disease Management, Sanitary harvest, fungicides application, MRL (Blackpod);06-Insect pest management, MRL; 07-Nursery establishment and management; 08-Harvesting and fermentation, drying; and 09-Assessing cocoa quality and cocoa by-products; in addition to three cross-cutting modules namely Farmer Business School; Child Labour and Additional Livelihood will all be be reported on monthly and daily as the case may be on online platforms.
To ensure this is done, Mr. Benjamin Asante explained that three platforms, which include website page: ched.com.gh; APPS: apps.ched.gh and Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/Cocoa Extension Ghana have been created by COCOBOD to ensure the objective is achieved. He added that Extension Staff will be provided with necessary Usernames and Passwords to utilize this novelty.
Mr. Ernest Ayivor, head of Information Technology added that, the project is looking at “time,cost and people”, stressing that, when an Extension Staff refuses to go by his own Itinerary and Programme of Activities, it has disastrous rippling effects on COCOBODm, and this platforms is to ensure “discipline”.He stated that this is a pilot project and if successful, will be replicated in all Cocoa Regions in Ghana. He added plans are advanced to acquire tablets for Extension Staff in the future.
The Regional Extension Coordinator for Volta Region, Mr. Noel Ayibor reiterated that, “extension staff must go by their itinerary. He urged Extension Staff to strive hard to carve a good name for the region and COCOBOD in their various Operational Areas. He also explained that farmer cooperative must be cocoa based only and Extension Staff must guide farmers to give proper names to such Cooperative in line with the objective of COCOBOD.
Other dignitaries that graced the program include Mr. Emmanuel Ofori, District Officer for Hohoe-Kpeve District, Mr. Prince Ohene Ampofo, Regional PEPs Coordinator and Mr. Derick Alarbi-Donkor, Disrtict Extension Coordinator, Hohoe-Kpeve District. All Extension Staff expressed appreciation for the training and pledged to work hard to uplift the envious image of COCOBOD in the Region and the country as whole.