The European is threatening to ban cocoa imports from Ghana because of the devastation that illegal mining is having on the country’s environment.
This is according to the deputy Chief Executive in-Charge of Agronomy and Quality Control at COCOBOD, Dr. Emmanuel Agyemang Dwomoh.
“As we speak, EU is threatening to ban Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, to impose legislative instrument restrictions on the importation of cocoa from Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire to their courts.”
Dr. Agyemang Dwomoh was speaking at the ongoing National Consultative Dialogue on Small Scale Mining in Accra on Thursday, April 15, 2021.
The EU is unhappy because swathes of land that had been forested in the 70s and 80s are all now degraded.
“When you take the satellite images, you will see those places in red. The EU thinks that all those places are red because cocoa is causing land degradation [in Ghana], meanwhile, it is as a result of the galamsey activities,” he said.
He expressed worry about the crippling effect that a ban on cocoa imports by the EU will have on Ghana’s economy which depends heavily on cocoa exports for foreign exchange earnings.
The EU is the largest buyer of cocoa beans from Ghana and her Western neighbor, Cote d’Ivoire. Up to 80% of cocoa produced in Ghana are exported to the EU.
“The impact of these mining activities on cocoa production is enormous. There is crop loss, reduction on crop yield and income, loss of vegetation, the fertility of the crop soil is destroyed and early dropping of immature pods, as a result of the chemicals that they use,” Dr. Dwomoh lamented.
The National Consultative Dialogue on Small Scale Mining is a platform purposed to forge a national consensus on small-scale mining, and its illegal version, notoriously known as galamsey.