Ghana Cocoa Board is warning yielding to the directives of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to reduce the current prices of cocoa will push farmers into selling their cocoa farms to illegal miners despite government’s efforts to deal with the situation.
COCOBOD further warns that it will be an unsafe decision to reduce producer price of cocoa in the country because it will force farmers to easily give out farmlands to illegal miners comparing with the prices of their products.
“Reducing price of cocoa will become an incentive for farmers to sell farmlands to illegal miners”. Manager of the Office of the CEO of COCOBOD Mr Fiifi Boafo said in an interview with GBC radio monitored by MyNewsGh.com’s Syxtus Eshun.
The IMF has said a reduction in producer price is needed this time around to reflect the changes in cocoa price on the international market.
According to the IMF, it has become critical for government to reduce the producer price of cocoa to ensure that the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD’s) current funding gap of GH¢1 billion does not expand.
But Mr Boafo responding to the matter explained that, there are a number of galamsey operators are already knocking on the doors of cocoa farmers urging them to release their cocoa farms for them to use for galamsey operations.
He further noted that in such a situation whereby the farmer is getting low income, it will become an intensive for him/her to say that well if someone is paying me money at a go, I will have to sell my land.
“A large sum, the farmers may release their lands to the galamseyers to operate. For us as a country, I don’t think it’s in our interest to lets farmers lease their land to galamsey, he insisted.