- A Ghanaian cocoa farmer is trending in a short video in which he is heard justifying cutting down all his cocoa trees to engage in illegal mining
- He said due to galamsey, he does not have to worry about money and dared anyone to stop him from destroying his own farm
- The unidentified man suggested that he has not been a beneficiary of the government's flagship Planting For Food and Jobs initiative
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A video of a cocoa farmer justifying why he has cut down all his cocoa farms for illegal small-scale mining has gone viral, prompting concerns for Ghana's centuries cocoa industry.
In a short video posted on Tiktok by @annanperryarhin, the cocoa farmer, a middle-aged man is looking into the camera and citing financial reasons to justify his decision to ditch farming for mining.
"I have plenty money in my pocket so I don’t care about cocoa. I am now cutting it off. You see, it is my own bona fide property. Nobody can stop me," he said.
When the camera panned briefly to a spot close to the man, it showed cocoa trees had been cut down and small mining pits had been dug in their stead.
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It appears he was asked in the edited video if he was concerned that he could be stopped by state authorities clamping down on illegal mining, popularly called galamsey and he answered as follows:
"You want to stop me from cutting my own cocoa tree? Did you plant it for me? Planting for food and jobs am I involved?"
The Planting for Food and Jobs is Nana Akufo-Addo's agricultural campaign to improve the yields of cocoa and other crops in Ghana. While government has touted it as successful, farmer-based organisations say it has been a failure.
The video is coming at a time when there are concerns that Ghana's renowned cocoa industry may be heading into the ditch due to the activities of illegal gold miners in cocoa-growing areas.
Bloomberg reported in July that Ghana was heading for the smallest cocoa crop season in 12 years because of drought and damages caused to cocoa plantations by illegal gold miners.
According to the report, Ghana was estimated to harvest about 685,000 tonnes of beans in the season through September 2022, down from a record crop of about 1.05 million tonnes the previous year.
Ghana is the second-largest producer of cocoa in the world.
Meanwhile, the video got a few reactions from netizens.
Paa piterson posting @ghapson said:
"Hmm it's because Cocobod n the government cheats them so much"
Abena sika commenting via @abenasika700 poked fun at the man in the video:
"Grandpa na your own cocoa don’t mind anybody."
Richardson Hosu Mishell posting @_luna_god said:
"Masa cut it I don’t even remember the last time I drunk tea."
Galamsey Menace: Photo Of River Pra Looking Like An Orange Drink Gets Ghanaians Talking
YEN.com.gh has reported in a separate story that a photo of the new colour of the renowned River Pra has gotten hundreds of Ghanaians talking.
The image was shared by popular journalist Kafui Dey on Facebook and has triggered passionate comments for attitudinal change.
Some also blamed president Akufo-Addo's fight against illegal mining for being ineffective at the galamsey fight.
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