Some farmers in Bompieso in the Western Region have given the green lights for their cocoa trees to be cut down for the planting of rubber.
The farmers say rubber is more profitable than cocoa.
After planting cocoa for 30 years, I don’t have a house I call my own but someone who started planting rubber just a year now has built his own house, bought a car and gets a loan whenever the need arises, from the rubber plant buyers.A cocoa farmer who has agreed to cut down his trees stated
The nation risks losing almost 10 million cocoa trees from these farmers who have resolved to change their plantation due to what they call “neglect of cocoa farmers in the country”.
According to the farmers who claim to see ‘better future’ in planting rubber than in cocoa, they do not get good prices for their cocoa which makes them poorer year after year, and “lack of strong government support”.
President of the National Cocoa Farmers Association Mr. Anane Boateng confirmed the news to this reporter saying, “we have heard of it but how can we stop it, when the very things government needs to put in place to make cocoa farming attractive has not been done”.
Cutting down cocoa trees to plant rubber is going on in several areas, we had several reports when we traveled to Bia West some time ago.Mr. Anane Boateng, President of the National Cocoa Farmers Association
He accused successive governments of paying lip service to the plights of cocoa farmers in the country while they (government officials) feed fat on the proceeds of cocoa, which came from the sweat of the ‘miserable’ farmers.
Anyone who sees no future from the work he is doing will certainly switch to another one, that is why our people are now venturing into cocoa farming.Mr. Anane Boateng said in a passionate tone.
Mr. Anane Boateng said the only way government can stop the ‘movement’ is by taking pragmatic steps to attend to the plights of people in the cocoa growing value chain, especially the farmers.
He argued that if workers at COCOBOD can get several bonuses and allowances including paying medical bills, motors, cars and houses, “why can’t the government give the farmers who produce the cocoa same or even better”.
We cannot talk about sustaining cocoa production in the country without talking about the welfare of those who produce it.Mr. Anane Boateng emphasised