Hidden Health Hazards: Chemical Spraying in Cocoa Farms Takes a Toll on Farmers’ Vision and Sexual Function
The President of Ghana National Association of Cocoa Farmers, Stephenson Anane Boateng has raised sensitive concerns about farmers losing their sight and their sexual potency after prolonged use of agro chemicals for farming.
He disclosed the startling observation in an interview with Abusua FM’s Kojo Marfo on Abusua Nkomo.
Mr. Anane Boateng revealed that farmers have complained of losing vision with some male farmers complaining about incidents of sexual dysfunction attributing it to the chemicals they use.
According to Mr. Anane Boateng several farmers have often gone weak after inhaling chemical inputs used to spray cocoa trees.
He indicated that the farmers have resorted to quickly finding milk as a first aid to resuscitate colleagues who have lost consciousness after such cocoa spraying exercises.
He was the more concerned most cocoa farming communities in Ghana lacked health facilities to adequately deal with and offer medical help to farmers afflicted with these health challenges.
“We do all the dirty work, but there’s no hospital for farmers to attend. Some of our members’ eyes are not functioning, others’ men’s penises are not functioning,” he lamented.
Threats of Galamsey
Aside the chemical use, Mr. Anane Boateng stated that Ghana’s Cocoa Farms continued to be threatened by illegal miners taking over lands and polluting water bodies with harmful metal residues from their environmentally harmful practices.
He pointed out that farmers can no longer depend on natural water bodies for drinking and watering their crops compelling them to now purchase purified water for use.
“The cocoa industry is collapsing due to land taken for galamsey activities and water bodies being polluted, leading to the purchase of pure water for drinking,” he bemoaned.
“Farmlands are being destroyed, making food items like cassava unsafe to consume,” he added.
Cocoa Purchasing Arears
Stephenson Anane Boateng also criticized the government for the delays in the payment of Cocoa proceeds.
According to him, Cocoa Farmers have faced payment delays for the past three years.
He told Kojo Marfo 26 bags of Cocoa he sold to produce buying companies remained unpaid till date.
He further pointed out that Cocoa beans transported for processing often end up destroyed, with no insurance to cover the losses.