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Business News of Monday, 5 March 2018


Stop trading your cocoa farmlands for rubber plantation – COCOBOD to farmers

Public Affairs Director of COCOBOD, Noah K. Amenya play videoPublic Affairs Director of COCOBOD, Noah K. Amenya

Public Affairs Director of COCOBOD, Noah K. Amenya has admonished cocoa farmers in the country to desist destroying and selling out their farmlands for the production of rubber.

Speaking at the launch of the COCOBOD Senior Staff Association (COSSA) week celebrations at the Trade Fair Center on Monday, March 5, Mr. Amenya emphasized the importance of preserving cocoa farmlands as a major factor in the development of cocoa production in the country.

According to him, though the significance of plantation farming to the economy of Ghana cannot be underplayed, the destruction of vast cocoa farmlands to achieve growth in that area is wrong and must not be encouraged.

“We have lost a lot of cocoa farms because of illegal mining and now we are seeing rubber. People who are into the rubber production have given some monies to the farmers and because the farmers are looking at the immediate benefits, they give out their land and the cocoa is cut.”

“For the destruction of land, what we can do is advocacy, telling them that cocoa’s contribution to this country is so enormous that we shouldn’t trade that for anything, we should not trade it into a gain for a short time, we will regret it.

We are not saying that rubber cultivation should stop entirely, there are certain lands that cannot support cocoa but it can support rubber production, they should go for those lands but to cut a cocoa tree and put a rubber tree there, is wrong.

It’s wrong looking at the investment that has gone in and what this country gains from it, it means that they have not given it thought. They’ll just go for the fertile lands that the cocoa is on, cut it and put rubber there so what happens if the quantities go up and the price falls? Would they cut that and come back to cocoa?” he quizzed.

Mr. Amenya further stressed that the focus must rather be directed at improving cocoa production with utmost importance attached to investing in their various cocoa plantations and increasing yield hence promoting the industry.

He indicated that COCOBOD is currently in talks with the Ghana Rubber Estate Ltd. (GREL) to discover ways of solving the issue and recover lost lands.

“We must have some reorganization of our farming activities so that land use is actually looked at when we are coming to cultivate something so we can develop all these crops alongside.

We have afforestation programs that are being done and on they (GREL) also are on the committee to look at how the forest should be looked at so cocoa is planted without cutting the rubber trees and vice versa.

We also have some tests going on to see whether rubber could co-exist with cocoa and these are all learnings. We think that with this insistent talks about it, both of us can find solutions so we can protect the cocoa industry”.

The COCOBOD Senior Staff Association (COSSA) launched a one-week celebration under the theme: “Increasing Cocoa Consumption among Ghanaians; the role of COSSA as Ambassador”.

The event was graced by a number of personalities from COCOBOD and CEO of Ghana Trade Fair, Dr. Agnes Adu.