In March 2016, the Chair of the Supreme Consultative Council (SCC) of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Alhaji Idriss Alhassan, called for measures to check the destruction of cocoa farms by illegal miners in cocoa growing areas.
The Reverend Emmanuel Ahia Klotey, Deputy Executive Director of the Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED), said the situation where chiefs, land owners and farmers had kept releasing lands and cutting down farms to give way to gold mining could have serious consequences for the cocoa industry, GNA reported on Monday.
Rev Ahia Klotey made the comments at the annual conference of the “Kookoo Pa Farmers Association” held in Nyinahin in the Atwima-Mponua District under the theme “Increasing sustainable cocoa production in Ghana – the role of the youth.”
According to him, efforts at attaining production targets would elude the nation if the situation went on unchecked.
He said large cocoa farms are being destroyed in search for gold, calling on the government to stop granting a licence to small-scale miners operating in cocoa growing areas.
In 2015, Ghana imported 15,500 tonnes of cocoa beans from neighbouring Ivory Coast in the 2014/2015 crop season, according to the finance minister, Seth Terkper.
The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) and industry had forecast cocoa output in Ghana and Ivory Coast to decline sharply.
“We do not expect the mid-crop harvest to be as high as last year in Ivory Coast when it was 514,000 tonnes,” said Jean-Marc Anga, Executive Director of inter-governmental body ICCO, said. “In Ghana, it’s a similar situation.
(Additional files from the GNA was added to this report.)