Ghana

Cocoa farmers worried of a drop in production due to 'galamsey'

File Photo of Cocoa farmers File Photo of Cocoa farmers

The Ghana National Association of Cocoa Farmers wants government to protect cocoa farms from being destroyed by illegal miners.

According to the Association, cocoa production in the country continues to drop.

Ghana’s projection of hitting a million tonnes of cocoa production appears not feasible with a high rate of cocoa lands being leased to small scale miners.

Arable lands have been destroyed with the application of dangerous chemicals like Mercury and cyanide by illegal miners.

In some areas in the Western North Region, cocoa farmers are forced to sell their farms through coercion or enticement.

At a recently held National Dialogue on Small Scale Mining, it came to light that cocoa farms have become a major target by unregulated miners.

The President of the Ghana National Association of Cocoa Farmers, Anane Boateng, confirmed that the European Union (EU) has threatened not to buy cocoa from Ghana due to the galamsey activities.

He expressed worry that production of the cash crop is gradually dwindling.

A cocoa farmer, Kwame Oppong, said the Chinese involvement in cocoa production is a big blow to Ghana without recourse to assurances by the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) that China cannot overtake Ghana with production.

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