COCOA farmers in Mim in in the Asunafo North Municipal Assembly of the Ahafo region, who have unlawfully planted their crops in the forest, are counting their losses as the Forestry Commission has cleared the cash crops from the forest either as a deterrent or a punishment to the farmers.
The leadership of the cocoa farmers expressed disappointment with the action of the Commission although the farmers had taken the wrong path.
The incident carried out by the Forestry Commission was seen in a video where an officer of the Forestry Commission was energetically cutting the trees with a colleague recording the incident and giving commentary.
When the National Forestry Commission at the Headquarters was contacted about the incident, they promised to get back to the Business Finder as it was fresh information.
Speaking to the President of the Ghana National Cocoa Farmers Association (GNCOFA), Mr Anane Boateng, he said inasmuch as he did not support the Cocoa Farmers cultivating in protected forest, he believes the approach was not the best since the cash crop contributes significantly to the country’s exports.
He said the Forestry Commission could have adopted a more humane approach to dealing with the incidence since the farmers had toiled for more than six years.
Mr Anane said the Ashanti Regional Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in the Ashanti Region notified him of the impending cutting down of Cocoa Trees in the Mim area.
He said the Director followed up with a video showing officers of the Forestry Commission cutting down the cash crop.
The President of GNCOFA said he had sent a delegation to the site to assess the situation and find what next thing to do especially for the affected farmers.
He said: We are not happy about what has happened reason being that if even cocoa farmers in the forest, why should the Forestry Commission cut the cocoa trees instead of confiscating them for the state. Mr Anane said the Forestry Commission who were supposed to keep watch over the forest to avoid encroachment should not have allowed the affected farmers to suffer this painful loss.