Mr Joseph Boahene Aiddo, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), has appealed to traditional rulers to stamp their authority to uproot the galamsey menace especially in Cocoa growing areas of the country.
According to him, galamsey activities continued to wreak havoc on cocoa farms, which was taking a toll on the Cocoa industry.
Mr Boahene Aidoo was addressing a durbar of the chiefs and people of Suaman-Dadieso when he led officials of COCOBOD to visit the KUMAD Global Impact Ltd and Afarinick company Ltd. Planting Seedling Nursery Site for COCOBOD Rehabilitation Project at Suaman-Dadieso in the Western -North cocoa Region.
He said as custodians of the land, traditional authorities wielded more power and owed it a sacred duty to conserve, preserve and protect the land from all forms of degradation.
Mr Aidoo bemoaned that many of the cocoa farmlands had been depleted with the indiscriminate cutting of cocoa trees for galamsey activities.
The CEO said: “Of much concern to COCOBOD, was the wanton pollution of river bodies and land degradation.”
Mr Aidoo said COCOBOD was yet to roll out an irrigation system of farming and farmers cannot rely on polluted streams with all the toxin to irrigate their farmlands.
He said there had been a considerable decline of cocoa production in the Western-North cocoa Region which used to produce a chunk of cocoa in Ghana and COCOBOD was moving heaven and earth with major innovative interventions to reverse the trend.
The Chief of Suaman-Dadieso, Nana Kofi Armah lauded the efforts of COCOBOD to streamline issues in the cocoa industry to boost production.
He admitted that the galamsey menace had become a source of worry to farmers in the Western-North Region.
The Chief lauded Mr Aidoo for holding the key to the future of the cocoa industry in Ghana and appealed to COCOBOD to release money given to cocoa farmers on time.
Nana Armah stressed the need for an irrigation system to irrigate cocoa farmlands all year round.
On the shortage of fertilizers and the use of faeces of fowls, the Chief suggested to COCOBOD to set up a poultry farm to use the faeces as fertilizer on cocoa farms.
The traditional ruler acknowledged that the Plantain Seedlings Nursery, which would feed cocoa farms, had given employment to a sizeable number of youths in the area.
Nana Armah lauded the efforts of Mr Aidoo, adding that when the history of the cocoa industry is revisited, he would stand tall with Tetteh Quarshie, who introduced cocoa into the country.