A Former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, has called for a united front if Ghana would ever win the war against illegal mining and other vices that plague the country.
To him, Ghana would remain the ultimate loser if the citizenry did not come together to defeat the perpetrators of these anti-national conducts.
“How I wish that we would have given the President the fullest support to put an end to the galamsey issues that are bedeviling the nation currently.
“Personally, I find it difficult to understand why as a nation we cannot be united to fight ‘evils’ that threaten the future of our dear country. It is very sad to see the rate of land degradation that is taking place in this country.
“How will generations yet unborn survive in this country? Obviously, we need to do something as a nation to curb this unwarranted destruction of our lands and treasured environment,” Prof. Oduro said.
He was speaking in Accra yesterday at the 75th anniversary lecture of the Ghana Cocoa Board on the theme “COCOBOD @75: Sustaining our environment, wealth and health”.
In estimation, Prof. Oduro explained that the exploitation of minerals has left Ghana’s environment destroyed and water bodies polluted; threatening sustainable agriculture.
“How long will it take us to reclaim the destroyed lands to secure the future of unborn generations? If we are not careful, we will soon lose all arable agricultural lands and make the nation over-dependent on food imports to sustain our food security concerns.”
He fears if the trend of the pollution was not stopped Ghana would not only import water for domestic use but for crop cultivation.
“Are we waiting for the time that as a nation we may have to import water for drinking and irrigation of agricultural crops? If we decide to continue behaving the way we are doing, I have no doubt that very soon large volumes of water will have to be imported for agricultural and domestic use,” he predicted.
Because of its importance to the economy of the country, Prof. Oduro said deliberate efforts must be made to improve upon the production of cocoa, including investing in cocoa research.
The Minister of Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, on his part, said the cocoa sector looked very attractive and promising, owing to the many interventions by the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo-led Government.
He disclosed that work on the COCOBOD cocoa Management System was nearing completion with some 664,529 farmers captured in six out of the seven cocoa growing regions in the country, adding that “credible database on our farmers is surely a pre-requisite for the full implementation of the Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme”.
Chief Executive of the Board, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, assured farmers that despite a difficult global market environment, his team would continue to put the farmer at the centre of cocoa issues to improve their living standards.