Japan rejects 100 tonnes of cocoa; galamsey blamed

Mr Joseph Osei Owusu,First Deputy Speaker of ParliamentThe First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu, has revealed that a consignment of cocoa beans from Ghana has been rejected by Japan because there is too much metal in it.

According to him, the detection of metals in the consignment could be as a result of the chemicals used in extracting gold by illegal miners in cocoa growing areas.

“Two weeks ago, we had a meeting and the COCOBOD Chief Executive in his report said a ship load of cocoa had been returned because Japan says that there is too much metal in it. Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu was there. That is how far galamsey is affecting us. Now it is affecting our cocoa industry also,” he said.

Mr Osei Owusu made this revelation in Parliament on Wednesday when the Media Coalition Against Galamsey paid a courtesy call on the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Ocquaye to seek for his support in their campaign against illegal mining.

This revelation contradicts an earlier denial by the COCOBOD that Japan had rejected a consignment of 100-tonnes of cocoa from Ghana in July 2017.

It was unclear if the earlier report was what Mr Osei Owusu; the MP for Bekwai was referring to.

The earlier report said the rejection of the 100 ton followed the detection of 2, 4-D – a herbicide in the consignment.

Efforts, however, to reach the COCOBOD to confirm or deny the revelation proved futile as officials of the Board reached by the Ghanaian Times were tight lipped on the matter.

The Ghanaian Times was also unable to reach the Japanese Embassy here in Ghana to corroborate or contradict the report that they rejected a consignment of cocoa beans from Ghana.

The Bekwai MP, a strong advocate against illegal mining, who once said if he had his way he would have amended the laws for persons who engage in the nefarious activities on water bodies to be shot at, commended the coalition for their efforts.

He said though the efforts to arrest the galamsey menace have been intensive, “we are not working on the minds of the people sufficiently” suggesting that “we put conscious efforts in place to make every Ghanaian feel that this (galamsey) is dangerous.”

 BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI    

 

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