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Ghana's premium cocoa position under threat due to galamsey — COCOBOD warns

COCOBOD has expressed concerns about Ghana's potential loss of its premium position in the global cocoa market due to illegal mining activities popularly known as galamsey.

Galamsey affects cocoa farms

Prof. Michael Kwarteng, Director of COCOBOD's Anti-Corruption Galamsey Unit, highlighted the detrimental effects of "galamsey" on cocoa production during an interview on Citi News.

These remarks come after former EPA Chief Executive Officer Henry Kokofu warned of a possible embargo on Ghana's cocoa bean exports due to the increasing prevalence of illegal mining.

"Per what we’re seeing, if nothing is done to stop this act [galamsey], we may lose even our position as the number one premium cocoa. In terms of quality, we all know that, in the whole world, Ghana’s cocoa is the best. If we continue to this, then we’re going to lose that, the quality of our cocoa beans is going to be affected seriously," he said.

He added: "I know our Cocoa Research Institute is researching that, and I’m sure they will come out with their findings. But per what we’re all seeing, we stand the risk of losing, so he’s right."

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This comes after the Minerals Commission of Ghana granted permission to MIGOP Mining Limited (formerly known as BSD Mining), a foreign-owned gold mining firm, to utilize 4,343.69 hectares (10,859.225 acres) of cocoa plantation farmlands in the Atwima Nwabiagya South Municipality in the Ashanti Region.

The company claims to have legal authorization for exploration and gold mining development from the Lands Commission since March 18, 2024.

This development will impact 169.76 hectares, comprising 190 individual farms currently undergoing rehabilitation under the COCOBOD Rehabilitation Programme.

The company is currently conducting exploration within the cocoa-producing communities including Apuoyem, Brahebebome, Brosanko, Ouagadougou, and Nkotonmire.

Joseph Boahen Aidoo, the CEO of COCOBOD, adding his voice to the destruction of the cocoa farms condemned the actions of MIGOP Mining Limited, accusing them of endangering the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and expressing concerns over potential losses to Ghana's cocoa production.

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