Illegal mining in Ghana is popularly referred to as galamsey.
The CEO appealed to the security agencies to deal with illegal miners whose activities are destroying cocoa farms.
He said this when he went on a tour to inspect an ongoing mass pruning exercise in some parts of the Eastern Region.
During the tour, the team realised that what used to be arable land has now become a scene of devastation.
Speaking to journalists, Mr Boahen Aidoo, said the destruction of “the backbone of the economy” is “very very sad”.
“You can see around the way illegal miners – galamsey operators – have devastated, not just the land, but the cocoa farm which used to be here,” the COCOBOD Boss said in his condemnation of the situation. “…now everything is gone. They’ve just destroyed everything. They’ve devastated this land and then the cocoa which is the backbone of the country. So, more or less, it is the economy of the country which is being destroyed. These are clear saboteurs of Ghana.”
Galamsey is one of the major challenges faced by cocoa farmers and many other sectors. The menace is also a threat to the investments made by the government to modernize cocoa farming and increase yields
“The president has called upon all of us to desist from illegal mining; to stay away from Galamsey, yet, you have recalcitrant citizens who are still bent on illegal mining,” Mr Boahen Aidoo bemoaned.
“I think this used to be somebody’s farm. The person has toiled, sweated over the years to grow this cocoa. …they just destroyed everything. And if you can get people in Ghana to be destroying our own economy; the backbone of the economy. Then what is the fate of this country? It’s sad and I think the security agencies will have to step up their operations on these illegal miners because if we are not careful, they will destroy the entire cocoa industry.”
Mr Boahen Aidoo called on the security agencies to intensify their fight against galamsey.
“[When] they come [and] farmers are not interested in giving their lands, then the next time they go to their farms, they find that the farms have already been invaded and then vandalised. So, I’m using this opportunity to call on the security agencies to step up their efforts in dealing with galamsey. It’s sad. It’s very very sad to come and see the toil of farmers rendered to this state. It’s very sad,” he said.