The management of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has admitted that cocoa farmers are often tempted to sell their lands to illegal small-scale gold miners, locally known as galamseyers, because of the huge amounts of money they offer.
Fifi Boafo, the Head of Public Affairs of COCOBOD, said on the Sunrise show on 3FM Monday, June 19 that most cocoa farmers have never seen GHS100,000 or GHS50,000 in their lives, so when they are approached by the galamseyers with such offers, they don’t think about the consequences of their actions.
He explained that cocoa farmers who sell their lands to illegal miners are losing out on the long-term benefits of cocoa farming, such as getting other crops from their farms and having a steady income for 30 to 35 years. He also said that illegal mining has a huge negative impact on the cocoa industry, as it destroys many farms and reduces productivity and production.
He said that COCOBOD is working on improving the situation of cocoa farmers, so that they can resist some of these offers and approaches from illegal miners. He added that illegal mining is not only harmful to the environment and the economy, but also to the farmers themselves, who are exposed to accidents and mercury poisoning.