Ghana-Côte d’Ivoire collaborate to stop extortion from cocoa farmers at the borders

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Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire have agreed to form a joint committee and find a lasting solution for security challenges faced by cocoa farmers along southern parts of the two countries’ shared border.

Ghanaian cocoa farmers who farm across the Tano River are often accosted by Ivorian para-military forces when they are ferrying their harvest inland.

The farmers have on many occasions reported issues of extortion and harassment at the hands of the paramilitary.

The agreement to form a joint committee was reached when Ghanaian officials hosted their Ivorian counterparts in a meeting at Half Assini of the Western Region on 24 February 2021.

The delegation from Ghana was led by the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Joseph Boahen Aidoo, and made up of officials from COCOBOD, the Western Region Minister – Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, and members of the Regional Security Council and Border Security Agents.

The Ivorian delegation constituted the Deputy Director-General of Le Conseil Du Café-Cacao (CCC), Dr. Koffi Ngoran, their National Land Forces General and other members of various security agencies as well as a Regional Minister for Agriculture.

“The joint committee will be tasked to work with all stakeholders on both sides of the border to fashion an enduring solution to the problem, which has been in the area for decades. The farmers have been traumatised for decades, hence the need for this urgent meeting with our Ivorian counterparts,” Boahen Aidoo said.

Even though Mr. Boahen Aidoo admitted that the problem is not new, he is however not happy that the activity is reaching alarming proportions.

“So, the National Security Minister and the president have been made aware; and for the first time, major steps are being taken to stop the illegal activities and give the farmers some peace.”

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