Ghana’s Cocoa Board Rejects Claims Of Neglecting Sprayers’ Health, Cites Checkups

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News in Brief
– Ghana cocoa board refutes claims of neglecting sprayers’ health by farmers association, citing regular checkups.
– While it also denied reports of vision loss and impotence, concerns remain about insufficient healthcare facilities in cocoa-growing communities.

The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has responded to accusations made by the Ghana National Association of Cocoa Farmers (NACOF) regarding the alleged neglect of contracted cocoa sprayers’ health.

NACOF’s president, Stephenson Anane Boateng, had claimed that several farmers experienced vision loss and sexual dysfunction due to agrochemical exposure.

However, the cocoa board’s head of public relations, Fiifi Boafo, denied the allegations in a recent interview with the media. He claimed that the board conducts regular medical checkups for contracted sprayers at the Cocoa Clinic, and no such symptoms have been observed. Boafo further stated that they hire more than 57,000 people each year to assist farmers with spraying.

Meanwhile, NACOF President Boateng raised concerns about the lack of healthcare facilities in cocoa-growing communities and maintained that farmers who do the dirty work have no access to these hospitals.

This issue highlights the potential health risks faced by agricultural workers and the need for both preventive measures and accessible healthcare in rural communities. While COCOBOD maintains regular checkups for sprayers, Boateng’s concerns underscore the broader need for improved healthcare infrastructure in Ghana’s cocoa-growing regions.

Agrochemical issues are a global concern and a divisive topic as we have seen in the recent European Union decision on extending permits for the usage of glyphosate herbicides. Another example is a United States court ruling to nullify previous approvals for dicamba-based herbicides, another group of agrochemicals that is in wide use over health concerns.

The disparity between Ghana’s cocoa board assessments of the effect of chemicals on farmers and the association head’s need to addressed.

Joseph Akahome
Joseph Akahome
Joseph O Akahome (OJ) is a writer, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literature from the University of Benin. He is an avid agriculturist, with a bias for poultry and an insatiable appetite for chicken wings. When he is neither reading nor researching, he likes to spend recreational time playing board games, or swimming in serene forested lakes.

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