The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) is concerned about the rate at which illegal mining activities are not only destroying forest areas but also starting to have a negative influence on cocoa output figures.
The cocoa industry could suffer a devastating blow with a grim future if the current trajectory of destruction brought on by illegal miners is not reversed.
The illicit miners openly expose their operations to significant COCOBOD investments in the nation’s cocoa-growing regions.
In an interview with JoyNews Latif Iddrisu, a visibly upset Public Affairs Manager at COCOBOD named Fiifi Boafo described one of many alarming meetings with the illegal miners. She stated, “Some of them actually utilize more coercive tactics of taking over the cocoa plantations.”
Some turn to the traditional authorities, who typically coerce the migrant farmers into saying things like, “I gave you the land; now take it.”
The illegal miners are subsequently granted access to these lands.
According to Mr. Boafo, sometimes they (illegal miners) actually begin digging the farm before the owners are even aware of it.
‘’In a very worrying trend, some cocoa farms that were diseased, COCOBOD had to sponsor to get these farms to start afresh. Just when the farms started seeing some flowers, the illegal miners have gone to clear everything. That is the extent of danger these illegal mining poses to our industry,” he stated.
The campaign against illegal mining in recent years seems to have fizzled out in comparison to President Akufo-posturing Addo’s and declarations against it back in 2017, which were quickly followed by the deployment of Operation Vanguard to the nation’s mining districts.
Environmentally conscious groups and the general public have good reason to urge the government to act to stop additional environmental harm.
With little results from administrative actions and other measures, the fight against illegal mining has come full circle.
The Minerals Commission, ministries, and other stakeholders in the fight against illegal mining must put their shoulders to the wheel. Security personnel are also important stakeholders.
The danger to the cocoa business will extend beyond the homes of individual cocoa farmers if the political class chooses to remain neutral and allow illegal mining to go unchecked.