Members of the World Cocoa Farmers Organisation (WCFO) in the Wassa Amenfi East District of the Western Region have called on the government to intensify its fight against illegal Mining in Cocoa growing areas.
According to them, the activities of illegal Mining was a major threat to Cocoa production and if not checked, would negatively affect cocoa production in the country.
“The activities of illegal Mining do not only destroy farmlands and water bodies, but the youth in the area prefer going into galamsey rather than going into cocoa production”
Chairman of the Association, Mr John Ankomah Enu, made the call during an interaction with members of the Agricultural and Rural Development Journalists Association (GARDJA), when they visited selected farms in the area to identify challenges confronting Cocoa production in the area.
He blamed some farmers for the high rate of galamsey activities in the area since such farmers sold their farmlands to illegal miners for money.
Mr Enu expressed worry over the low quantity of fertilizer and other agro-chemicals supplied to Farmer cooperative groups in the area, describing it as woefully inadequate and appealed to COCOBOD to increase the quantity supplied to them.
He revealed that some farmers were compelled to sell portions of their farms to illegal miners just to get money to buy agro-chemicals.
Mr Enu commended the government and COCOBOD for the 28 percent increase in producer price of Cocoa and appealed to government to speed up the proposed pension scheme for Farmers to cater for them at their old age.