Golden Exotics Limited, the largest producer and exporter of banana and pineapple in Ghana, has expressed worry about the rapid encroachment on its farmlands by some real estate developers.
According to the company, sand winning and the encroachment on its farmlands at Obom by the developers in the Ga South Municipality of the Greater Accra Region was adversely affecting its operations.
Managing Director of Golden Exotics Ghana Limited, Olivier Chassang, who made this known to journalists in an interview recently, accused KAS Estates Limited of destroying the company’s farmlands through encroachment and sand winning.
The development, Mr. Chassang indicated, was negatively affecting the company’s operations, leading to reduction in its output and workers.
According to him, should the conditions persist, the company, which in 2015 exported about 52,000 tons of bananas and 5,000 tons of pineapples to the European markets, would be compelled to fold up.
He said the French-owned banana and pineapple producing company may not be able to farm on its lands leased to it by families at Obom in the near future owing to the development.
The company has had to cut down operations in the Obom area and reduce its staff from 700 to 400 and 200 currently.
The company has also had to cut its volume of production over the years – 2010/2011- over 10,000 tonnes of pineapples, 2012; 8,000 tonnes 2014: 6,000 tonnes 2015; 4,000 tonnes 2016 is 3,600 tonnes.
The encroachment has been ongoing for a long time, Mr. Chassang stated, adding that the company had decided to take the matter up in court since all efforts to get the developers off its lands had proven futile.
“KAS Real Estate company has been notorious in encroaching on our land in the Obom area and acts with impunity and alleged support from the local police in the area,” Corporate Affairs and Administration Manager, Golden Exotics Limited, George Kporye said.
He alleged that all Golden Exotics’ fallow lands had been encroached upon by the real estate developers, who have bribed the police at Amasaman in order to carry out their nefarious acts.
The destruction of the farmlands is mostly carried out by hired land guards from KAS Estates Limited at dawn or during holidays under the protection of police personnel from the Amasaman District Police Command, he claimed.
By Melvin Tarlue