Cocoa farmers of Fanteakwa South District, AKyem Nsutam to be precise in the Eastern Region have said, they are not the real owners of the land they farm on hence not the ones giving the farm lands to the mining companies. However, they claim their land owners give the land to the miners without their concern.
In an interview with Radio 1 News, the Chief Farmer, Mr. Yaw Biredu Boateng in Nsutam Community revealed that, they are just care takers of the lands.
Mr Boateng disclosed to Radio 1 News that these landowners privately negotiate with the mining companies without involving them no matter how dear the farm is to the farmers. In actual sense he believes no farmer in his right senses will easily give off their cocoa farms for sale. He added that since the owners of the lands don’t really go into any documented agreement with farmers it makes it difficult for the farmers to protest if they give out the land to the mining companies.
However, speaking to Kwame Esew who was a cocoa farmer and happened to be a victim whose land owner sold his cocoa farm to a mining company said, he couldn’t protest with his land owner because he had no money to take him to court and eventually gave in to what he was offered.
Madam Alice who is also a victim gave a different story as to being the land owner and a farmer as well. She said the miners took her farm without her concern and when she protested all they could tell her is that, the land is for the government and they have been given the permission to mine on it.
She said she took them to court but nothing came out of it and had to give in and accept their offer because she had no choice and was a nursing mother at that time and had no strength to fight them.
Most of the communities have lost their main sources of revenue: farming (cocoa farms). They have lost by either selling the cocoa farms or by compulsory acquisition by Miners or Galameyers, but these mining activities are also not sustainable.
Many Farmers say mining companies took over their fields and began digging without asking permission or offering compensation. Other farmers felt pressured to sell their lands.