Ghana produced a record 1.4m tonnes of cocoa beans in the 2020/21 season. This year has been much tougher. “Last season we ended the year with our highest production, but this year, seeing galamsey [illegal mining] taking a lot of our cocoa lands and the extensive harmattan, our production will be affected,” says Fiifi Boafo, public affairs manager of Ghana’s state-run Cocobod, which manages the sector.
Between 2019 and 2020, around 19,000-20,000ha of cocoa farms across the country were destroyed by illegal miners, according to a recent Cocobod report. Gold miners targeted major cocoa-growing towns in Ashanti, Eastern, Western and Western North regions.
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