The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Bryan Acheampong, has expressed concern about a significant drop in cocoa production in the eastern zone of Ghana.
He attributes this decline, which is almost 80 percent, to smuggling activities involving unscrupulous merchants operating in Togo.
According to Mr. Acheampong, these merchants have established a presence in Togo and are purchasing cocoa beans from Ghanaian farmers at a higher price than the local market offers.
They reportedly offer farmers US$3,000 for their cocoa beans, while the Ghanaian government pays US$1,800 for the same quantity.
This discrepancy in prices has resulted in a substantial reduction in cocoa production in the Eastern Zone of Ghana, which includes areas from Northern Ghana to Aflao.
The decline has been particularly evident during the main crop season, and during the light crop season (June to September), no cocoa beans have been received from this zone.
The Minister has promised to take action against these merchants and intends to wage a “relentless war” against them in the coming days.
This likely involves efforts to curb smuggling and enforce regulations to protect the interests of Ghanaian cocoa farmers and the cocoa industry.