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Cocoa, Foodstuff Locked Up Due To Bad Roads   
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More than 200,000 bags of cocoa and foodstuff are stuck in some producing districts in the northern part of the Western Region due to the collapse of two steel bridges and bad roads.

Some of the affected districts include Amenfi West, East, Central, Ellembelle and Aowin.

According to the farmers, the situation has compelled some of them, who are close to the Ivorian border, to sell their produce in neighbouring Cote dIvoire, rather than seeing it go waste

The Daily Graphic visited some of the communities, including Mumuni Camp and Woman No Good in the Amenfi West and Central districts, where two steel bridges which provide vital links to the main depots had collapsed.

As a result, communities, including Mumuni Camp, Wassa Camp, Sika Nti, Amoakrom Koduakrom and Woman No Good, in the Amenfi West District, had been cut off from the rest of the district.

In these communities, some farmers were using head porters or tractors to carry cocoa beans from their farms to safe locations.

The cocoa farmers have, therefore, called for immediate intervention by the government and the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to shape the roads and repair collapsed bridges to ensure easy transportation to avert smuggling and reduction in quality of the dried beans.

More collapsed bridges

The bridges linking Ellembelle and Prestea have also collapsed, forcing people in those communities to travel for nine hours through Bogoso and Tarkwa to Nzema, a journey that could have been done in less than two hours.

One of the farmers, Alhaji Azure Sulemana, told the Daily Graphic that the Mumuni Camp road was connected to Samreboi and that the chunk of cocoa produced in the area, came from Mumuni.

Currently, he said, evacuating cocoa from Mumuni Camp and other heavy producing areas to Abboi for haulage to Takoradi for onward shipment had become a problem.

Apart from cocoa, many of the communities produce tonnes of plantain, oil palm, cassava and other foodstuffs.

Mr Sulemana said currently the only option for the cocoa farmers was to head to the nearest market.

If care is not taken and nothing is done immediately, Ghana cocoa will become Cote dIvoire cocoa which will be bad news and a serious issue for the country, he said.

At the various depots visited, tonnes of cocoa had been taken through the processes ready to be carted but for the bad roads.
Source: Daily Graphic

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