COCOBOD CEO condemns illegal mining activities threatening cocoa farm

Joseph Boahen Aidoo, the Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, has strongly criticized the actions of MIGOP Mining Limited, a foreign-owned gold mining firm accused of jeopardizing the livelihood of cocoa farmers in the Atwima Nwabiagya South Municipality, Ashanti Region.

Aidoo asserts that the attempts by the mining company to explore and mine in the affected communities destroying several cocoa farms in the process are unlawful and unacceptable.

It has been revealed that approximately 400 acres of cocoa farms are under threat due to the exploration activities conducted by MIGOP Mining Limited.

The potential commencement of full-scale operations by the firm could have detrimental effects on five cocoa-growing communities in the area.

In a firm stance, the CEO of COCOBOD declared the company’s actions are illegal, emphasizing the protection afforded to cocoa trees under the law.

“It is unlawful to destroy any cocoa tree or even to remove any tree on the cocoa farm. Which means that you can’t even go there and mine. Even if loggers cannot go and take timber trees, then it means that as for mining, it cannot come to any cocoa farm at all.

“The Minerals Commission is also complicit in whatever that is going on. In this instance that we are discussing, they were issued with an exploration license and not a mining lease. It is only when you’ve gone through all the necessary processes and procedures, then you need the final stage to establish that you have a commercial precious mineral there that is only when you will be issued with a mining lease but in this instance, they only have exploration license from the minerals commission,” he stated.

He further criticized the Minerals Commission for its lack of oversight, noting that the commission had an exploration license to the mining company but it didn’t follow up to ensure that there was no mining.

The CEO assured that COCOBOD is committed to supporting the affected farmers and will assist in securing fair compensation for any disruptions caused to their farms.

“The minerals commission has not followed up to see whether they are doing exploration or mining and by law, they are not supposed to use heavy machinery through any cocoa farm. So, whatever is going on there is unlawful and COCOBOD is going to assist the farmers to have the get compensation for whatever disruption might have occurred to their farms,” he added.

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