Amansie West giving up on cocoa farming

GiveUp Cocoa FarmingCocoa farmers in the Amansie-West District are reportedly giving up on cocoa production and drifting into illegal gold mining.

Many appear to have lost interest in farming as they see the returns on the mining activity more attractive and far rewarding.

Ms Grace Addo, the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area expressed deep worry about the turn of events and warned that if left unchecked, it could have a devastating impact on Ghana’s cocoa production levels.

Large acres of cocoa farms, she noted, were being cut down and turned into mining sites and said the situation was alarming.

Amansie-West, over the years, has accounted for a significant percentage of the cash crop – the mainstay of the national economy, and in the year 2007, adjudged the fifth largest cocoa producing district in the country.

Ms Addo sounded the alarm when she spoke to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Manso-Nkwanta.

She appealed to the government to take bold decisions, by way of producer price increase, subsidies on agro-chemicals and introduction of other incentive packages to entice the farmers.

The MP complained about the massive environmental degradation caused through the unrestrained activities of the illegal miners and said she has already raised the matter on the floor of parliament.

The area is fast losing its vegetative cover, with the forest resources ruined and water bodies polluted.

She said things could not continue that way because the cost would be too high and that is why all would have to accept to work together to restore some level of sanity.

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