The Ghana Agriculture Worker Union (GAWU) is urging the government to urgently address the encroachment and destruction of cocoa farmlands by illegal miners.
GAWU maintains that although the 63.6% upward adjustment of the farm gate price of cocoa is welcome, the major issue plaguing the sector is illegal mining.
In an interview with Citi News, the General Secretary of GAWU, Edward Kareweh, said more farmers are at risk of losing their farmlands if nothing is done.
“Sometimes, the galamseyers use very ruthless methods to push the farmers to sell their farms to them. For instance, if they decide to channel all their dirty water on your farm, you cannot go to the farm again, and you are forced to sell the farm to them.
“So these are the areas that the government must look at seriously to ensure that the real danger to cocoa production which is galamsey is dealt with otherwise, the government cannot continue to increase cocoa prices to the point where it can compete with the revenue that galamsey will give to the farmers.
“So as much as increasing the cocoa prices is one way of improving their income, the government also needs to address the encroachment on cocoa farms by galamseyers.”