Grenada: The Ministry of Agriculture has been adopting good agricultural and environmental practices that would help increase the production of cocoa levels in Grenada.
The Grenadian Agriculture Ministry has recently collaborated with the Grenada Cocoa Associations to host training sessions trainers’ workshops to enhance sustainable cocoa production.
The participants of the initiatives were officers from the extension and 4-H departments, young men from the Grand Bacolet Juvenile Rehabilitation Centre, and members of the Praedial Larceny Task Force.
Grenada Cocoa Association’s member Wayne James explained to the participants about the three main types of pruning – formation, maintenance and sanitary.
James stated that this practice will benefit the cocoa trees and allow plants to have greater access to sunlight and air. So you prune because it encourages the health and productivity of the plant.”
Pruning for cocoa traditionally occurs in two phases; first pruning takes place just after the main harvest – April to July – and just before the rainy season, and the second pruning five months later, during November and December.
Acting Senior Agricultural Officer, Lauren St Louis, explained the proper procedures for the process and stated, “Officers, you have to ensure that the farmers are pruning properly, at an accurate angle.
It would be best if you did not cut flat across the tree; you cut at an angle. This is to ensure that water does not have time to settle and cause rot. It also prevents insects and pests from entering the tree.”
The benefits of pruning were further explained by the Extension Assistant – Anisha Hosten.
“We know that a cocoa tree should be maintained at the height of approximately four meters to facilitate easy management and harvesting. It is against the backdrop that I encourage my farmers to prune properly.
This is one technique that is essential for removing old branches and damaged pods.
It will facilitate increased sunlight which strengthens the formation of new leaves and fruits, allowing pods to grow healthily,” Hosten was quoted.