Business News of 2014-05-09

Farmers protest against intended destruction of cocoa farms

Cocoa farmers in eight communities in the West Akyem District of the Eastern Region, have made an urgent appeal to the President, to intervene to avert an attempt by the Ghana Rubber Plantation at Asamakese to cut down cocoa trees in the area.

Six of the communities are Mpom, Krodua, Ashitey, Odumasi, Obinimda, and Okurasi. The farmers registered their displeasure when members of the National Sub- committee of the Ghana National Association of Farmers and Fisherman (GNAFF) toured some cocoa-growing communities at Asamankese in the Eastern Region, Mr Emmanuel Tekpeteye Mensah, National sub-committee Chairman of GNAFF, said it is sad for the Ghana Rubber plantation to cut down cocoa trees and plant rubber.

According to the Chairman, the immediate intervention the President of the Republic and the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) will avert the intended destruction of the economic trees.

Mr. Mensah said while the country is fighting to increase cocoa production to one million tonnes, some private companies are also thwarting the efforts to achieve the objective.

He said something must be done to avert the destruction of cocoa farms, adding that the decision will seriously affect the farmers and cocoa production in the country.

Mr Oheneba Boahene, Chairman of Cocoa Growers Association in the West Akyem District, appealed to GNAFF to act swiftly to safe members from going through trauma and frustration.

He called on government to open the cocoa season early enough to enable farmers to get money to pay their children’s fees. He expressed worry about the situation where children of cocoa farmers are not enjoying the Ghana Cocoa Board scholarships, and appealed to government to take steps to address the matter.

Mr. Tetteh Danyo, Publicity Committee Chairman of the sub- committee of GNAFF, appealed to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Agriculture to do diligence, before approving the genetic methods (GM) foods since it can affect the fortunes of crop farmers in the country.