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General News of Friday, 18 June 2021


Genser Energy trying to ‘steal’ our 24,000 acres of farmland – Sefwi Bekwai farmers lament

Some farmers on a farmland Some farmers on a farmland

Chairman of the Sefwi Bekwai Cocoa Cooperative Union, Issifu Issaka, has accused Genser Energy Ghana Limited (‘GEGL’) of trying to forcefully push them out of their lands without any consultations and negotiations.

According to the farmer, “Genser wants to chop down some 24,000 acres of lands belonging to farmers in Sefwi Bekwai just so they can lay their gas pipelines but, the company has not even had the decency to consult the union. They have not met farmers for a negotiation but have counted the trees on our farms and valued them. Close to 800 farmers in my union will be affected by this if they achieve their objective.”

The farmer noted that the energy company has gone ahead to take measurement of their farms and when they (farmers) challenged Genser and asked the company to halt the process, “They told us we have no power to halt the process. They are trying to cheat us out of our farms and property but we will not allow them.”

Concerned about the development, the Union led by Issifu Issaka marched to the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) which dispatched some lawyers to help them out. “We expected the COCOBOD CEO to come down and address the issue directly but that didn’t happen,” he told Don Kwabena Prah on Happy98.9FM’s Epa Hoa Daben political talk show.

He explained that chiefs in the community have also denied giving Genser Energy the go ahead to commandeer their (farmers) lands. “So far, the chiefs that the Union has visited have also said they know nothing about what is happening.”

On his accord, farmers presently do not even know the advantages and disadvantages of giving up their farms but insist they will only give up their farmlands if Genser Energy has a proper sit down and negotiates with farmers. “Modern day Ghanaian farmers are really smart and will not allow themselves to be cheated out of their future.”

Genser Energy Ghana Limited provides distributed power generation solutions in Ghana to multinational industrial and mining companies including Gold Fields Ghana, Kinross Gold Corporation and more recently Perseus Mining.

The company intends to build over 170km of natural gas pipelines connecting its existing plants with the Ghana National Gas Corporation’s facilities, increase the total capacity of its existing plants from 100MW to 190MW and invest in new 161kV transmission lines and seeks out these lands for their expansion project.