Cocoa production may significantly reduce in the country and affect Ghana’s foreign exchange earnings if illegal mining popularly known as galamsey is not checked.
This is because Asunafo North Co-operative Cocoa Farmers and Marketing Union in the Brong Ahafo Region have threatened to burn all their cocoa farms if galamsey operations do not cease in the area.
Galamsey operations, according to the union, have popped up in some communities such as Tipokrom, Atoom among other places and this will negatively affect cocoa production.
“Our chiefs, Ministers, MP, President and all stakeholders should rise up against such acts to conserve our Forest, lands and Water bodies else we will burn all our Cocoa Farms,” Nana Sarpong, President of the Union stated at a news conference in Goaso Saturday.
According to him, the Union has a membership of over 7,000 in about 69 communities, reiterating their resolve to burn their cocoa farms in protest against galamsey.
Around many cocoa growing districts such as Amansie West in the Ashanti region, galamsey operators have taken over so many cocoa farms and lands.
This, according to officials like Mr. Eric Amoako Agyare, Programme Manager of Cocoa Rehabilitation and Intensification Programme (CORIP), for Ghana, threatens efforts to transform the cocoa industry.
He cautioned that if a solution was not found for this emerging danger all the efforts to improve and sustain the cocoa sector could be derailed.