The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has indicated that it will need the support of security services to halt the devastating effect of illegal mining, also known as galamsey on the cultivation of the crop.
The European Union (EU) has already warned that it may be forced to boycott the purchase of Ghana’s cocoa if deforestation and illegal mining of cocoa farms are not stopped.
Speaking to Joy Business, Head of Public Affairs at COCOBOD, Fiifi Boafo said the fight requires the full support from state agencies and the security forces.
He stated for example that, the operations of illegal miners take diverse forms that can only be stopped by security agencies trained to combat such crimes.
“The illegal miners are still in the business. Unfortunately, and it’s affecting us, it is affecting production, it’s affecting farm lands and it’s affecting lands that are linked to these cocoa farms,” he said.
Mr. Boafo also lamented that the situation has been compounded by fact that some cocoa farmers have been deceived to sell their farms to illegal miners who promise instant rewards.
He pointed out that such illegal miners must be arrested for destroying farms and forest reserves.
According to him, COCOBOD has intensified education to farmers not to release their farmlands for illegal mining works since it is against the law.
“That is also another major challenge that COCOBOD is fighting to resolve. We have engaged farms of farmers that have been converted to illegal mine sites. It has not solve the problem. We are still exploring other means of addressing the issue but it remains the major challenges to us and then we need everyone’s support and assistance and collaboration to get things done, “he said.
Mr. Boafo stressed that there must a collaborated effort to protect cocoa farms since it is a major source of foreign earnings for Ghana for decades.
“The security agencies must come in, the media, we expect to continue the course to ensure we stop this illegal acts because of its effects on our country so yes the collaboration is expected,” he appealed.
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