The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) and the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) have joined forces to fight Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus (CSSV) disease and improve farmer access to planting material in Ghana. The agreement is part of the country’s cocoa rehabilitation efforts and was signed into action in February by WCF Acting President, Tim McCoy, and COCOBOD Chief Executive, Dr Stephen Opuni.
In the face of threats to Ghana’s cocoa production such as CSSV disease, ageing cocoa farms and increasing drought, WCF and COCOBOD have agreed to identify innovative solutions to ensure the long-term sustainability of the cocoa sector. Under the agreement, WCF and COCOBOD aim to improve access to planting material by increasing capacity for seed production through irrigation technology in areas suffering from drought. COCOBOD will implement a pilot project to assess the impact of irrigation on seed production.
In order to address CSSV disease, WCF and COCOBOD will undertake breeding activity to identify resistant material and develop detection tools for the disease. Efforts to support the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana on identifying natural enemies to control mealybugs, a cocoa pest, and reinforcing regional collaboration through exchanges of CSSV resistant planting material will also be addressed.