COCOBOD is calling for a more aggressive strategy to protect cocoa production environment from the scourge of illegal mining to ensure sustainability of the commodity.
According to COCOBOD,illegal mining menace poses an unprecedented challenge which has the potential of not only crippling the cocoa sector, but also threatening livelihood of cocoa farmers and basic means of survival as humans
In a speech read on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD Joseph Boahene Aidoo by the Deputy Chief Executive Officer in charge of Finance and Administration, Emmanuel Ray Ankrah at Suhum in Eastern region during the opening of a 4-day exhibition as part of the 2022 Cocoa Day, he said, with recent agitation by global consumers, the European Union, other trading partners and global civil society organizations, for a more environmentally friendly and sustainable farming practices, is a wake-up call for Ghana to adopt a more aggressive approach to sustainable cocoa production.
“In our effort to improve the lives of cocoa farmers and improve the fortunes of the industry, we are faced with an unprecedented challenge of illegal mining (galamsay) which has the potential of not only crippling the cocoa sector, but also threatening our basic means of survival as humans – the Environment.
This, coupled with recent agitation by global consumers, the European Union, other trading partners and global civil society organizations, for a more environmentally friendly and sustainable farming practices, has made it imperative for us to adopt a more aggressive approach to sustainable cocoa production. We at COCOBOD are therefore on a massive sensitization campaign to ensure that a conducive environment is created for the sustenance of the cocoa industry”
Joseph Boahene Aidoo stated that COCOBOD is therefore embarking on a massive sensitization campaign against illegal mining in cocoa growing areas to ensure that a conducive environment is created for the sustenance of the cocoa industry.
“It is against this background that we settled on “COCOBOD @ 75: Sustaining Our Environment, Wealth and Health” as theme for this year’s Cocoa Day Celebrations”
Eastern Regional Minister Seth Kwame Acheampong described proliferation of illegal mining activities in cocoa growing communities in recent times as a cause for concern to government and other stakeholders.
He stressed that activities of illegal miners in cocoa farms affect the environment and water bodies which invariably impacts negatively on the socio-economic fabric of the communities.
“In recent series of reportages, we hear that cocoa farms are being sold to illegal foreign miners for huge sums of money. This destroys farm lands with grown cocoa trees. The beautiful landscape with healthy trees become a maze of ditches and death traps and thereby destroying the topography of the land. Subsequently, these activities prevent the indegens from taking up farming activities and thereby affecting their livelihoods.
The one-time sale of cocoa lands to foreigners would not create wealth in one day.Wealth is rather created over time and from the golden production of the cocoa beans which creates jobs and business for millions of people on an annual basis,” Seth Kwame Acheampong said.
The Member of Parliament for Suhum Oboafo Kwadwo Asante also a board member of COCOBOD in an interview admonished farmers selling their farms to illegal miners to desist from the act due to the future repercussions in the environment and livelihood.
He said the fight against illegal mining should be taken a notch higher to be more deterrent and consequential.
The Chief if Suhum Osabarima Ayeh Kofi and various speakers acknowledged the health benefits of consuming Cocoa products hence urged Ghanaians to make it part of their daily menu.
“Research has shown that the cocoa bean contains chemicals such as Essential Minerals, Fat, Proteins and Anti-oxidants. Together, these chemicals help to cure/prevent cardiovascular diseases, Diabetes, Insomnia, Bodily pains as well as facilitating the delay of ageing process. These are just a fraction of the numerous benefits derived from cocoa consumption” CEO of COCOBOD explained .
Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/103.5/Kojo Ansah