Cocoa farmers urged not to sell lands for mining

Cocoa farmers have been urged not to allow themselves to be influenced by the huge sums of money being offered by some individuals to sell their farmlands for illegal and small-scale mining activities.

They should not allow one-time quick money to entice them to dispose of a heritage, which could serve the present and future generations of the family.

Mr Ebenezer K. Agyen, Acting Ashanti Regional Manager of the Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED) of COCOBOD, who made the call, said cocoa was not only the backbone of the Ghanaian economy, but it was also a treasure of families and communities.

There was, therefore, the need to protect cocoa farmlands and prevent them from being used for illegal mining activities in the country.

He was speaking at the seventh annual general meeting of the Kokoo Pa Farmers Association in Kumasi.

The meeting was held under the theme: “The effects of illegal mining (galamsey) on the future production of cocoa in Ghana.”

Mr Agyen urged cocoa farmers to form stronger associations in the communities to enable them to have the strength and a voice to resist attempts by individuals and groups to take their farmlands for mining activities.

He said the government through COCOBOD was implementing various productivity enhancement schemes to help individual farmers to increase crop yields and cocoa beans production in the country.

Mr Frederick Amponsah, Executive Director of Kokoo Pa Farmers Association, said the objective of the Association had been to promote the adoption of sustainable farming practices to achieve economic and social well-being of its members and farming communities.

This was being done through capacity building and training of their members to acquire knowledge in sustainable agricultural production practices to help increase their crop yields and incomes.

He said the Village Savings and Loans Association Project, which was being implemented by the Association, had about 5,966 members in 256 groups and 145 communities.

So far, more than GH¢4.98 million had been disbursed to 2,628 farmers to support their activities.

Mr Vincent Frimpong Manu, Board Chairman of the Association, said to ensure that members adopted the best agricultural practices, the Association engaged some extension officers and supported them with logistics such as motorbikes to be able to visit the farmers regularly.

He advised the farmers not to be enticed by the huge sums of money being offered by some people to influence them to dispose of their farmlands, since cocoa production was the surest way to sustain their families’ income for many years.

Mr Peter Aidoo, Chairman of the Association, said the Association was currently operating in 278 communities in 11 districts of three cocoa producing regions in Ghana, with a total membership of 10,300 farmers.

He advised the farmers to embrace new technologies to help them adapt to the changing trends in cocoa production to help increase their crop yields and income.

Source: GNA

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