Galamsey Menace: Only 2% Of Cocoa Land Badly Impacted – Agric Minister Owusu Afriyie Akoto

Galamsey Menace: Only 2% Of Cocoa Land Badly Impacted – Agric Minister Owusu Afriyie Akoto

  • The Minister of Agric Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto has disclosed how the illegal mining menace has impacted the cocoa industry
  • According to him, figures from the COCOBOD reveal that galamsey has affected only 2% of cocoa lands in the country
  • Even though the number is negligible, the Agric Minister is still concerned about the effects of the menace on the environment

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The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has revealed the percentage of cocoa farmlands affected by the illegal mining menace in the country.

According to him, only 2% of cocoa lands have been badly affected by the activities of illegal small-scale miners.

The Agric Minister has revealed that only 2% of cocoa farmlands have been affected by illegal mining
L-R: Agric Minister Dr Afriyie Akoto Osei; Cocoa bean (top right) and some illegal miners (bottom right) Image Credit: @OfficialDr.OwusuAfriyieAkoto Prince Andani Umar Farouk
Source: Facebook

Speaking to Accra-based Joy News, Dr Afriyie Akoto said a survey from the COCOBOD revealed the figures.

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Illegal mining: President Akufo-Addo to hold crunch meeting with MMDCEs and National House of Chiefs at Manhyia Palace over menace

“For me, in terms of acreages, it is not much and I have the evidence. COCOBOD did a survey and they are saying that 2% of land under cocoa has been destroyed by galamsey. 2% is nothing. And cocoa is concentrated in the gold belt, so if you extend it to the north in terms of total, it is not much,” he said.

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The Agric Minister, however, expressed worry about the potentially devastating impact of galamsey, especially on Ghana’s cocoa-related exports.

He also called on the media in Ghana to help champion the interests of cocoa farmers in the country and highlight the dangers illegal miners pose to the cocoa industry.

The comments of the Minister follow fears that Ghana’s cocoa risks being blacklisted on the international market due to the country’s polluted water bodies, which used to serve as sources of irrigation.

Read also

Cocoa: EU rep insists there will be no ban on cash crop despite ravaging effects of illegal mining

Despite the government’s efforts to stamp out the canker, heavy metals like cyanide and mercury pollute the hitherto crystal clear water bodies. Experts believe the pollutants, if left unchecked, could end up in the food, including cocoa produced from these mining areas.

But in what can be described as refreshing news, the European Union insists it will accept Ghana's cocoa on its international market, contrary to claims that it wanted to ban such.

An EU rep to Ghana at a public forum stated categorically that Ghana's cocoa won't be banned by its members as Europe wanted more of such.

Cocoa Farmer Justifies Cutting Trees For Galamsey In Video: “I Have Plenty Money In My Pocket”

Earlier, reported that a cocoa farmer had justified the cutting down of his cocoa farms for illegal small-scale mining.

The viral video captures the middle-aged man citing financial reasons to justify his decision to ditch farming for mining.

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