July 21, 2024
P.O.Box 613ER Gombilla House, Lamashegu Market, Tamale, Northern Region

Galamsey, smuggling and bad weather slash Ghana’s cocoa revenue by $500m

Illegal mining activities, unfavourable weather conditions, the swollen shoot virus disease, and rampant smuggling have caused a significant shortfall in Ghana’s cocoa revenue for the first quarter of 2024.

Fiifi Boafo, Head of Public Affairs at COCOBOD, in an interview with on JoyNews Desk, Boafo explained the key factors behind the alarming drop of over $500 million in cocoa revenue, as reported by the Bank of Ghana.

“Illegal mining activities are cutting off farmers from their farms,” he stated, highlighting the detrimental impact of these illicit activities on cocoa production.

Mr Boafo added, “Farmers find it difficult to get aid to harvest cocoa due to these disruptions.”

The environmental consequences of illegal mining have also been severe, with polluted water bodies affecting irrigation.

“Illegal mining activities are polluting water bodies needed to irrigate cocoa farms,” Boafo noted.

In addition to illegal mining, adverse weather conditions have played a crucial role in the revenue decline.

Mr Boafo pointed to the “El Niño phenomenon, which caused warmer and drier conditions, leading to lower yields.”

Public Affairs Manager of Cocobod

The Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease (CSSVD) has further exacerbated the situation, with over 500,000 hectares of cocoa farms lost to the disease.

“Over $200 million was spent to rehabilitate farms affected by Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease,” Boafo explained, underscoring the scale of the problem.

To combat these challenges, COCOBOD has taken several measures. Legal actions against smugglers and illegal miners are underway, with “five individuals already jailed and several cases pending in court,” Boafo disclosed.

COCOBOD is also working to support cocoa farmers financially. “We are motivating cocoa farmers by paying them more for their produce,” Mr Boafo stated.

Additionally, the legal team at COCOBOD is assisting farmers in prosecuting miners who interfere with their farms.

“Our legal team is helping farmers who seek to prosecute miners who interfere with the usage of their farms,” he said.

Despite the production shortfall, Boafo remains optimistic about COCOBOD’s ability to secure the necessary funding.

“Our production shortfall would not affect our chances of accessing the cocoa syndicated loan,” he assured, indicating the institution’s confidence in maintaining financial stability.

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