The National Best Cocoa Farmer for 2021, Nana Kojo Amoako, has advised cocoa farmers to desist from giving their cocoa farmlands to galamsey operators to protect their cocoa business and industry.
According to him, the cocoa industry brought in more revenue to the country than galamsey and cocoa farmers also stood to gain more from cocoa farming than selling their lands for galamsey operators.
Speaking at a press conference by the Ghana Cocoa, Coffee and Sheanut Farmers Association (COCOSHE) and Past Cocoa Farmers Award Winners in Accra on Friday, he said, the benefits of cocoa farming were long-term, unlike galamsey.
It was meant to advise the state on their positions on galamsey and urged cocoa farmers to desist from selling their land for galamsey operators.
“You can give your land for galamsey and get an outright big cash of about GH¢30,000 to GH¢40,000, but this money can be consumed within a short time, but cocoa can feed and bring you money for your life time,” he stressed.
Nana Amoako urged cocoa farmers to desist from believing the ideas being peddled by a section of the public that cocoa farmers could not make enough money to put up their own houses and would remain in poverty if they continued to with cocoa farming.
The National Best Farmer stressed that cocoa farming is lucrative and one can make it in life by engaging in cocoa farming.
“It is because of cocoa farming that I am what I am today and travelling around the country and also before you talking about cocoa farming,” he said.
He observed that cocoa farmers could be rich as other crop farmers if they took cocoa farming as a business and planned their finances well.
Nana Amoako, who is the Ambassador for Hand Pollination for cocoa opined that it was not true rubber cultivation was more lucrative than cocoa farming as being peddled around the country.
Nana Amoako called on the government to put stringent measures in place to curb galamsey in the country.
Nana Johnson-Mensah, anational executive member of COCOSHE and the Western North Chief Farmer, said galamsey was having a serious toll on the cocoa industry.
According to him, activities of galamsey operators had destroyed large tracts of cocoa farms in the Western North, which used to be leading source of cocoa in the country.
Nana Johnson-Mensah who represented farmers on the COCOCOB Board, said galamsey was a worry to COCOSHE as the practice was impacting negatively on the cocoa industry and reducing cocoa production in the Western North.
He called for a stiffer law to make it criminal to destroy cocoa trees as it pertained for rubber.
“Even though, there are galamsey activities going on around the country, rubber plantations are not being destroyed because of the stiffer law protecting the rubber tree,” Nana Johnson-Mensah, said.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE