In a significant gathering at the Bekwai Community ICT Center, members of the Baakoye Cooperative Cocoa Farmers and Marketing Union Limited convened on Thursday, 7th March, 2024. The meeting brought together executives from various societies operating under the union, highlighting their commitment to addressing critical issues affecting the cocoa industry in the Bekwai Municipality.

The primary focus of the meeting was to tackle the pressing challenges of galamsey activities, child labor, forced labor, and gender equality and equity within the municipality. Attendees engaged in comprehensive discussions aimed at devising strategies to combat these issues effectively.

Additionally, participants deliberated on initiatives to strengthen the cooperatives and enhance support for cocoa farmers to ensure sustainability in cocoa production. This aspect of the meeting underscored the union's commitment to fostering long-term viability in the cocoa industry while empowering local farmers.

Leading the proceedings was Mr Emmanuel Opoku Acheampong, who serves as both the president of the union and the chairman of the advisory board. Mr Acheampong's leadership played a pivotal role in guiding the discourse towards actionable solutions.

Several notable speakers contributed insights during the meeting. Mr. Moses Djan Asiedu, the board secretary of the West African Cocoa Farmers Organization (WCFO), shared valuable perspectives on the challenges facing cocoa farmers and potential strategies for addressing them.

Julius Amoako and Patrick Osei, representing the CHED (Child Labor, Health, and Education Development) officers from Bekwai, provided expertise on combating labor-related issues and promoting equitable practices within the industry.

The presence of the union administrator further enriched the discussions, ensuring a comprehensive exploration of relevant topics and fostering collaborative efforts among attendees.

Overall, the meeting served as a pivotal platform for stakeholders to engage in constructive dialogue and chart a course of action towards mitigating the detrimental effects of galamsey activities, labor exploitation, and promoting sustainable cocoa farming practices within the Bekwai Municipality.

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