Mr. Joshua G. Makubu, Oti Regional Minister, has highlighted the detrimental impact of cocoa smuggling on revenue generation and development, particularly the construction of cocoa roads in the region.
Speaking at a Ghana Boundary Commission community engagement in Likpe, Mr. Makubu expressed concern over the drastic decline in cocoa production in the region due to smuggling activities.
He noted that while the region produced around 8,000 tonnes of cocoa in 2019, it now struggles to reach even 100 tonnes.
Attributing the decrease in production to rampant smuggling, Mr. Makubu emphasized the need for collective efforts to curb the menace.
He urged traditional leaders to engage their subjects in addressing the issue for the betterment of the nation.
To combat smuggling, Mr. Makubu outlined plans to coordinate with the Regional Manager of COCOBOD to ensure sufficient funds for cocoa purchasing.
He also pledged the support of the Regional Security Council in policing unapproved routes and apprehending culprits.
Highlighting the adverse effects of reduced cocoa production on national revenue and cocoa road projects, Mr. Makubu lamented the abandonment of several cocoa road projects in the region.
He pledged to collaborate with community leaders and security agencies to restore cocoa production levels and contribute significantly to the national cocoa stock.
Mr. Makubu emphasized the importance of returning the region to its former glory by contributing not less than 9,000 tonnes to the country's cocoa stock.