The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Bryan Acheampong says government will soon roll out an unprecedented policy that will seek to change the welfare of Cocoa farmers.
Without giving any hint about the nature of the intervention, the Abetifi Member of Parliament said the programme, which will be announced before the next cocoa season, will be the biggest intervention that will discourage farmers from trading their Cocoa farms for illegal mining.
“I don’t want to take the wind out of the president’s sail. There’s a big announcement coming for Cocoa farmers in this country. It is unprecedented. There’s going to be a big, big, big announcement for Cocoa farmers” he reiterated.
Cocoa farming is going to change in this country because we know it is an important crop, and we know the toils of farmers” he stated
In an interview aired concurrently on three Nkawkaw-based radio stations, the Minister stated that the aim of the government is to reverse the the trend where Cocoa farmers are tagged poor.
“I don’t think the money the ‘galamsey'[illegal miner] person will give you if you aggregate it over ten years, it will beat what cocoa will give you” he argued.
“Yes, if you compare what you will get from Cocoa to that of what the galamsey person will give you, maybe the galamsayers money will be so much for this year, but what happens next year, next five years and next ten years. You may be coerced to give out your property but in the long-term, you will lose”he explained
Cocoa is the largest agricultural export of Ghana, and Ghana’s main cash crop.
However, farmers over the years have bemoaned the lack of support and low income from their sweat despite their vital contribution to the Ghanaian economy.