The Cocoa Officer for Dormaa Central Municipality has appealed to the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and other stakeholders of the cocoa industry to develop appropriate technology for speedy cocoa flower pollination.
David Afriyie-Gyebi said technology giants like Google, Facebook, Baidu, Amazon and Tencent must be engaged to explore avenues for the manufacturing of devices and equipment, which could aid rapid processing of cocoa flower pollination.
He said the indicated that technology would be a game-changer to boost cocoa yields in the pollination process and reduce drastically the number of hours spent by pollinators on cocoa trees.
The Municipal Cocoa Officer was of the view that technology would greatly help in extracting pollen grains from the flower into the female stigma to fast track pollination.
The current scheme of things necessitated serious conversation about how artificial intelligence, robots and other devices could be used in pollination to save time and maximise yields and profits, to reach national targets in cocoa production, he added.
Mr Afriyie-Gyebi allayed the fears of pollinators currently recruited and deployed into various farms that their work would not come to an abrupt end with the introduction of technological devices, stressing “human beings would definitely be required to operate these devices when they come”.
It is also not an attempt by authorities to intentionally terminate the appointments of the pollinators because not every farm may access or benefit from these devices across the country at the same time when it is rolled out, he reiterated.
Mr Afriyie-Gyebi disclosed his outfit requested for the supply of 135,000 bags of subsidised cocoa fertilizer for farmers to assist “the initiation of flowers in production”.