A research by the Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) has shown that several cocoa farms in the Western, Ashanti and Eastern regions have been lost to illegal mining activities.

The research found that out of the over 20,000-acre cocoa farms in the selected regions, more than 19,000 acres have been devastated by galamsey.

This means about 80 per cent of the selected cocoa farms were destroyed between 2019 and 2020.

Speaking at a Cocoa-Galamsey Talk in Accra on Friday, Chairman of Cocobod, Peter Mac Manu, called on stakeholders to institute immediate interventions.

He noted failure to do this would lead to adverse consequences on the country’s cocoa exports.

“We are aware that our river bodies have been polluted. We are aware that some farms have been degraded for galamsey. But unfortunately, we cannot sit in COCOBOD and find solutions to them.

“Equally, you may not know the havoc galamsey is wreaking on the cocoa industry, which has continued to be the mainstay of the economy of this country. Are we going to sit aloof and watch the cocoa industry die? No. Certainly, the Minerals Commission will not approve of that,” he said.

According to him, “there is the need to jaw-jaw and find common solutions to the problems. In Western North, Western, Ashanti and Eastern regions, many of the farmers have been devastated by the activities of galamsey.

“People’s income is being wiped off, so we need to look at it critically,” he added.

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