He said the practice was counter-productive to Ghana’s economy and defaulters would not be spared if apprehended.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr. Asamoah noted that though the assembly had mounted barriers at vantage points in the municipality to curb cocoa smuggling by recalcitrant farmers and purchasers, reports indicated that the practice was rife in some parts of the municipality.
The MCE said a task force set up by the assembly to check smuggling and illegal felling of trees in the municipality had impounded several truckloads of lumber and cocoa and that those involved had been handed over to the police for prosecution.
“A cursory look at the cocoa sector would reveal that government has never relented in bringing the desired improvement in the producer price of cocoa each year to boost producer confidence in farmers and to entice more of the country’s youth into cocoa production. This phenomenal feat has been healthy for our economy”, the MCE observed.
Mr. Asamoah proposed to cocoa farmers in the municipality to consider the formation of farmer groups to be able to influence government policies and attract state interventions in the agriculture sector in general and the cocoa sector in particular.
He urged cocoa farmers to take advantage of government’s numerous strategies designed to assist farmers to maximize yield by implementing technical advice offered by experts in agriculture in order for optimum yield.
On Ghana’s enviable fame for producing the best quality for the world, Mr. Asamoah challenged farmers not to engage in unwarranted practices that could compromise the hard–earned global reputation.