Farmers of seven communities in Ejisu-Municipality of Ashanti Region are protesting what they say is illegal acquisition of their farmland for industrial purposes.
They say over 5,000 hectares of cocoa farms owned by nearly 3,000 people are due to be destroyed and the land developed into a Free Zones enclave.
Spokesperson of the farmers, Kwabena Boateng, says people who claim to be working for Ministry of Trade and Industry are spearheading the move to negotiate with farmers.
Mr. Boateng says the affected framers and their dependants will lose their livelihood and cocoa production will suffer if the project is carried through.
He wants President Akufo Addo and Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu the second, to swiftly intervene to save livelihoods.
“Government is spending huge on farmers every-year because cocoa is the backbone of the nation. Therefore, we want President Akufo Addo to intervene, we want to be law-abiding citizens but if those companies come again, we will chase them out,” Mr. Boateng warns.
He says he harvests about 50 bags every season whilst others do more than 150 bags.
Family head at Abenaase Osei Tutu says the affected communities are a source of food for Ejisu and Kumasi, therefore cannot allow them to take over their farmland.
He is a family –man with more than 20 people who all depend on his cocoa farms.
What baffles them is that, they were not told of any developmental projects and why they want to cut-down their cocoa trees.
‘If they go ahead to destroy our cocoa-farms, then we have to train our children into rubbery because we have no source of livelihood.”
Eighty -year old farmer, Kwasi Osei, says he depends on his cocoa farm to cater for his family, including his children’s education.
“An elderly person like me, how can I take care of my family without my cocoa farm, what happens if I die and leave nothing to for them?” he quizzed.
Sixty-five-year-old Ante Akosua has farmed all her life to provide hope for his family.
She currently taking care of eight orphans in addition to her own children who are all schooling.
“Can I sit down and watch my cocoa farm destroyed? I will rather die to avoid hunger and humiliation. Please, President Akufo Addo, we believe in you, else, we are all going to die out of hunger,” she stressed.