COCOBOD CEO decries destruction of cocoa farms by illegal miners

The Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, is appealing to the country’s security forces to pursue illegal miners whose activities are destroying acres of cocoa farms.

While on a tour to inspect an ongoing Mass Pruning exercise in some parts of the Eastern Region, the officials came across cocoa farms that had been destroyed by illegal miners.

The miners immediately run into the bushes upon seeing the officials, leaving behind their tools and machinery.

On the drive back, the team noticed a series of pits, starting from the edge of a farm along the road. The pits, which appeared to continue deep into the farm, was indicative of galamsey operations on the farm and that prompted the decision to stop to inspect that farm.

The sizes of the pits were visibly bigger and more destructive as the team walked through the farm, until coming upon a vast clearing in the middle of the cocoa farm where cocoa trees used to grow, but now it had become the site of a major galamsey operation.

Over there, the land was cratered with some of the largest mining pits, with many soil layers into the ground.

What used to be arable land was now a scene of devastation.

Undoubtedly disturbed by what he had just witnessed, Mr. Boahen Aidoo described the scene as a “very very sad” state of affairs which amounted to the destruction of “the backbone of the economy”.

Speaking to journalists, Mr. Boahen Aidoo, who had interacted with some executives and members of a cocoa-farmer cooperative at Osino, in the Eastern Region, said the activities of illegal miners are badly retarding the economic contribution of the cocoa sub-sector.

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