General News of Wednesday, 14 February 2018
There is growing tension at Asikasu-Odumase in the Upper West Akyem District of the Eastern Region over the forceful take-over of cocoa farmlands for rubber plantation.
Cocoa farmers in the area have rejected compensation from the Ghana Rubber Estates limited in exchange for their land.
They say they cannot exchange their livelihood for 7,000 Ghana cedis for an acre of cocoa farm.
The company has however defied their stance and gone ahead to destroy over 2,500 acres to plant rubber.
Ghana will soon lose its position as the world’s second largest cocoa producer; many cocoa farms are being replaced with rubber plantations.
The country has a strong position on the world market for standard quality of beans with a market share of an estimated 20 percent.
In the 2015/2016 harvesting season, Ghana produced approximately 800,000 metric tonnes of cocoa, which was 20 per cent of the total world production.
Events at Asikasu—Odumase have the potential to derail such gains unless measures are taken to halt the trend. Samuel Baidoo is a victim of forceful take-over of cocoa farms.
Ghana Rubber Estate Limited is destroying cocoa and other economic trees. Emmanuel Nordjoe is another farmer who has lost his cocoa farm . He says his farm was forcefully taken over by rubber plantation company.
The farmers say government has so far paid no attention to the worrying development.
Nana Oboadie Boateng Bonsu is President of Concerned Farmers Association of Ghana, and has been leading the crusade against the land take-over.
According to him affected farmers may resort to social vices if their concerns are not addressed.