1.1 Background of Study
Cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) is one of the most important cash crops in Ghana and the industry is the mainstay of the Ghanaian economy as it provides 30 percent of Ghana’s total export earnings making it the second largest source of export earnings (Gakpo, 2012). According to the Bank of Ghana, cocoa bean and products export receipts for the first quarter of 2011 was $859.4 million, accounting for about 61 percent of total export earnings as compared with $682.5 million at 48.8 percent in 2010 (Marcela and Ashietey, 2012). In September 2011,cocoa production in Ghana reached a record One Million (1,000,000) metric tonnes (MT), the highest ever. This record was 35.7 percent higher than the full-year record of 740,000 MT, obtained in the 2005/06 season (Marcela and Ashietey, 2012). Much of the increase in cocoa production could be attributed to their response to increased use of fertilizers and pesticides (Afrane and Ntiamoah, 2011).
The cocoa plant, like all living organisms, is susceptible to attack by a wide range of pests and diseases. Preventive and curative measures are therefore necessary in the cocoa industry to maintain and even increase output (Akrofiand Baah, 2007). While non-chemical means of managing pests and diseases in the industry are widely recommended for health and environmental reasons, the use of chemicals in the form of fertilizers, insecticides and fungicides is unavoidable in the effective management of cocoa farms (Moy and Wessel, 2000; Opoku et al., 2007; Adjinah and Opoku, 2010). Pesticides are widely used in most sectors of the agricultural production to prevent losses by pests and thus improve yields as well as quality of the produce (Cooper and Dobson, 2007). There are many kinds of benefits that may be attributed to pesticides, but these benefits often go unnoticed by the general public (Damalas,2009). Thus, pesticides can be considered as an economic, labor-saving, and efficient tool of pest management with great popularity in most sectors of the agricultural production.