The Western region has been Ghana’s lead cocoa producer since 1984 but roads leading into the cocoa farms could lead you to hell, Joy News’ Western regional correspondent Ina-Thalia Quansah has found out.
At least 14 percent of Ghana’s cocoa cash comes from a district where nobody wants to go — the Amenfi West — because of bad roads
Thick mud makes mini tidal waves in the wide gullies sprawled along the 524.11kms of feeder roads in this district, adding another layer of needless adventure for the drivers who have to use this road to cart men and materials, pregnant women and farm produce.
Some 5,000 bags of cocoa beans were trapped in this district in 2017, the Daily Graphic has reported. It is the same as saying ¢2.37m was trapped there because of deplorable roads.
Joy News’ Western regional correspondent Ina-Thalia Quansah visited the district to listen to farmers and some of its over 106,800 residents recount several stories that all seem deja vu.
“It’s quite pathetic that we here vote but we don’t get anything from the government” she was told.
And so from Esuohyia to Samreboi, a journey of under one hour takes five frightening hours.
The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has been making investments in constructing roads in cocoa-growing areas.
Known as cocoa roads, funds are set aside each year to build roads that fit the economic potential of the region.
But these initiatives have been dogged by a mixture of politics and mismanagement. As at June 2017, works on the roads had been halted.
COCOBOD has complained of what its Chief Executive Officer Joseph Aidoo called ‘ghost roads’.
The claim was not without reply from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) which also accused the government of neglecting 230 cocoa roads and failing to earmark funds for its construction in the COCOBOD budget for 2017/2018.
The argument in Accra has been continuing.
But the farmers inside the Amenfi West district keep wondering how providence has given them the best climate to grow cocoa, and why they give off their best to cultivate it and yet government cannot seem to get its act together to build roads.
Source: Joy News