This is due to the activities of illegal small-scale mining in cocoa growing areas in the two West African countries, which produced over 60 per cent of the world’s cocoa beans.
A Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) in charge of Agronomy and Quality Control, Dr Emmanuel Agyemang Dwomoh, made this known at the second day of the National Consultative Dialogue on Small-Scale Mining in Accra, on Thursday.
He noted that the activities of illegal small-scale mining was destroying the country’s forest cover and soil, therefore making it practically impossible to cultivate cocoa trees in certain parts of the country.
He said current satellite images showed red areas, which previously used to be forest areas.
Therefore, he said, the EU raised serious concerns about the growing depletion of the forest cover and could affect cocoa cultivation in the two countries.
Dr Agyemang-Dwomoh said currently, Ghana exported about 80 per cent of her cocoa beans to the EU market and a ban on the commodity would not augur well for the country’s cocoa industry.
Dr Agyemang-Dwomoh said illegal mining was gradually eroding the gains made by COCOBOD’s extension programme due to the ravaging effects of illegal mining.
He said the activities of illegal mining into the country’s forest areas was of serious concern and called on participants at the Consultative Dialogue, to help address the phenomenon.