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West Africa (Cocoa Production)

Volume 530: debated on Friday 23 July 1954

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps are being taken to increase cocoa production in West Africa; and how the campaign against swollen shoot disease is progressing.

Steps taken by the Gold Coast and Nigerian authorities include disease control measures; cash grants for replanting to farmers whose cocoa has been cut out; the free issue of improved planting material; advisory work on better cultivation; and the survey of land suitable for fresh plantings. The work is backed by a comprehensive research programme. These efforts have so far not succeeded in doing more than counter-balance the effects on production of the depredations of swollen shoot and other diseases.The cutting-out campaign against swollen shoot in the Gold Coast continues to be successful in checking the spread of the disease to new areas. No 'more effective way of controlling the disease has yet been found, though research into other methods continues. Nigeria's policy of cutting out diseased trees to isolate areas of mass infection by a cordon sanitaire has not proved entirely successful, and the Western Regional Government have asked for help in obtaining further expert advice from the United Kingdom