Angry Chiefs and peoples of Assin-Wurakese in the Assin-Fosu Municipality of the Central Region have seized a 450-acre land leased to COCOBOD 47 years ago for the establishment of a Cocoa Research Station.
Speaking at a press conference, the Chief of Wurakese, Nana Professor Okogyeaman Dankwa Ameyaw Kokroko II, said COCOBOD has refused to followed through its commitment to making annual payments of cash royalties to the community over the 40-year lease period.
According to him, COCOBOD, as part of its corporate social responsibility, promised to provide the community with a market centre, school facility, health clinic, police station, good roads and religiously rehabilitate a 17km road from Wurakese to the site of the cocoa research station.
“However, COCOBOD has not fulfilled a single of its promise to the community for the past 47 years.”
He revealed that all attempts to get the attention of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and COCOBOD has proven futile.
“We are therefore left with no option but to repossess the land which is rightfully ours.”
The Chief also served notice to COCOBOD to pay all the accumulated cash royalties for the 40-year life of the land lease agreement and also demanded accountability for all the revenue accrued since 2016 when the land lease agreement expired.
The Chiefs also threatened COCOBOD not to step foot on the cocoa farm.
The youth in the area have welcomed the move by their chiefs.
According to the youth, COCOBOD promised to employ some of them to work at the Cocoa Plantation but that has not been done.
They said workers on the cocoa Plantation in the area are not natives from the Community but from other Communities.
In an interview with Starr News, the Head of the Wurakese Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG), Mr Prince Mensah said he will relay the concerns to the management of CRIG for an amicable resolution.
He said he will make sure the issues have been resolved and all the agreements fulfilled.