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Climate Change, Galamsey, Greatest Threats to Cocoa Production – COCOBOD CEO

Ghana, unable to also contain the "galamsey" fight has posed more threat to the sector, as farmlands and water bodies are being exploited. According to the Ghana COCOBOD, between 2019 and 2020 alone, more than 19000 hectares of productive cocoa farms in two regions were ravaged by illegal gold miners.

The CEO of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Joseph Boahen Aidoo, has attributed the growing effects of climate change and illegal mining activities (known as ‘galamsey’) as the main threat to cocoa production in Ghana.

Last week, cocoa prices on the global market were at continuous peak levels, selling as high as $8,000 per tonne compared to $2,500 last year due to volatile weather patterns, such as flooding and poor rainfall, affecting supply.


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Ghana, unable to also contain the “galamsey” fight, has posed more threat to the sector as farmlands and water bodies are being exploited. According to the Ghana COCOBOD, between 2019 and 2020 alone, more than 19,000 hectares of productive cocoa farms in two regions were ravaged by illegal gold miners.

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“We commissioned the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA) to do a pre-appraisal assessment for us and in the report they brought, almost all the rivers were contaminated, and you cannot use that milky, muddy water to do anything with cocoa. These days, farmers have to transport water from their homes in tricycles, making farming very expensive,” Mr. Aidoo said on the Daily Graphic show on Thursday.

These challenges have recently led Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire (which produce 60% of the world’s chocolate) to set up a joint cocoa initiative, headquartered in Ghana, that would spearhead the interests of cocoa farmers in both countries and define a common sustainable cocoa strategy.

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But as authorities are slow at addressing the pressing issues of climate change and “galamsey”, it only leaves uncertainties for the sector, which has long been described as the backbone of Ghana’s economy.

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