He said “The minerals you are searching for are temporal, but the cocoa farms will continue to serve future generations if you keep them well.”
President Mahama gave the caution when he addressed a rally at Asankragua in the Amenfi West District of the Western Region as part of his five-day campaign tour of the region.
The President also addressed rallies at Dadieso, Aowim, Wiawso, Bodi and Akontambra , where he outlined the development agenda of the ruling National Democratic Congress.
He denounced the high incidence of illegal mining activities and appealed to the chiefs and people in the affected communities to draw up a plan for government to take action and find lasting solutions to the menace.
President Mahama said although small scale miners were allowed to operate with licenses, government would however, not issue such permits to the operators if their activities would be inimical to the communities they operated in.
The President said government would continue to support cocoa farmers to achieve higher production levels and would therefore not allow illegal miners to thwart all the efforts they were making to revamp the cocoa industry.
Nana Anyani Boadum III, Divisional Chief of Asankragua in a speech read on his behalf commended the government for constructing and maintaining a number of feeder roads in the Amenfi West District of the Region.
He however appealed to government to upgrade the local health centre into a hospital or a polyclinic to cater for the health needs of the people.
Nana Boadum III also appealed to government to increase the cocoa districts from the current two to five to cater for the needs of cocoa farmers in the area.