Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), has said his outfit is working hard to protect cocoa farms from illegal mining.

He stated that aside creating a desk in COCOBOD with the major responsibility of ensuring that cocoa trees were protected, they had a law in Ghana, the Economic Plants Protection Act-1979 (AFRCD 47), which prohibited destruction of economic trees including cocoa.

Mr Aidoo said this in Tarkwa when he addressed the media after interacting with cocoa farmers at Bompieso in the Prestea Huni-Valley Municipality of the Western Region.

The CEO explained that any attempt to destroy cocoa farms to pave way for mining or logging would not be allowed because cocoa played an important role in the economic development of the country.

‘The media will have to take this up and educate the public on this law because cocoa is the backbone of the economy and once the central pillar is destroyed it means the whole economy will collapse’ he added

‘When farmers
see that their farms are under threat, they should first seek redress from the court and after securing a suit at the court, they should bring it to COCOBOD, and then we will provide the legal services for the case to be prosecuted.

‘Sometimes you hear about cases, you go there and the farmers themselves have gone to collect money before the issues come to our attention. With such cases you cannot take it up’ said Mr Aidoo.

He reiterated that ‘So farmers who are losing their property once they make the effort and bring this to the attention of the court, COCOBOD would step in with full force to fight on their behalf.

‘In fact, when we went around l alerted the farmers that our rivers bodies are choking and heavily pollution. I don’t think a single fish or frog will survive in this polluted water’.

According to the Mr Aidoo, ‘these illegal miners keep washing and discharging filth into the river bodies and its affecting channels of the rivers. If Ghanaians do not rise against this and it continues by the n
ext 20 to 30 years our forest will turn to desert’.

He added that ‘for the younger generation, how they are going to survive to get water in Ghana is going to be a big challenge, they may have to import water and is up to us to defend their right today’.

Source: Ghana News Agency