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EU threatens to ban cocoa from Ghana as galamsey degrades forest lands

The European Union (EU) has threatened to restrict cocoa from Ghana due to the environmental effects on illegal mining, locally known as galamsey.

This was disclosed by the Deputy Chief Executive in-Charge of Agronomy and Quality Control at COCOBOD, Dr. Emmanuel Agyemang Dwomoh.

Speaking at the ongoing National Consultative Dialogue on Small Scale Mining on Thursday, April 15, 2021, he said Ghana’s cocoa sector could suffer due to the land degradation caused by illegal mining activities.

“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,” he said.

Ghana exports a chunk of its cocoa to Europe, with about 80% of the country’s cocoa being bought by EU member states.

Dr. Agyemang Dwomoh explained that the EU is alarmed by satellite images which show how degraded Ghana’s forest areas have become in recent years.

“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.”

“The impact of these mining activities on cocoa production is enormous. There is crop loss, reduction of crop yield and income, loss of vegetation, the fertility of the crop soil is destroyed and [there’s also] an early dropping of immature pods, as a result of the chemicals that they use,” he added.

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