Govt urged to budget for land restoration project

The Ghana Federation of Forest and Farm Producers (GhaFFaP) has called on the government to, as a matter of urgency, to budget for landscape restoration in the country, particularly the northern parts of the country where land degradation is becoming a major problem.

GhaFFaP is a Federation of Forest and Farm Producer Organisations (FFPOs) and has members drawn from three Ecological Zones including Savannah, Transition and Forest Zones of Ghana.

MrBenjamanSarfo, Business incubation team member of GhaFFaP,   made the call on Friday on  behalf of the group when he made a presentation at the   GhaFFaP –Savannah Zone Round Table Conference held at Navrongo in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality  of  the Upper East Region.

According to the Federation, the Northern parts of the country was  the hardest hit when it came to climate change, hence the need for the government to provide incentive packages for smallholder Forest and Farm Producers to embark upon tree growing.

Mr Sarfo indicated that as  part of GhaFFaP 10-Year Strategic Initiative, the Federation  had already  instituted GhaFFaP  Green Ghana Smallholder  Forest and Farm Producers in place,   as key  partner to complement government’s efforts  at addressing  land degradation issues.

He stated that  among the objectives of the Federation  was to help contributetorestoring  of over 30,000 hectareswithconservationfarmingand treegrowing , addressingclimatechange as well as support the  government’s efforts atcreating 20,000jobsfor Forest and Farm Producers Organisation{FFPO) members including women, youth and Persona with Disabilities(PWDs).

“The Federation intends empowering these groups of people through the creationof greenbusinesses,  establishment of 60 GhaFFaP green community gardens ; 30 community nurseries strategically located to produce tree seedlings, Business skills training to 5,000 forest and farm producers working in treevaluechains,” he  hinted.

Another Business incubation team member of GhaFFaP, Mr Clifford Amoah Adagenera, noted that it would be very difficult for Ghana as signatory to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to achieve the Climate Change component if it failed to support farmers with incentive packages to engage in activities that would fast track the restoration of the landscape.

He explained that the government alone could not address the issue, consequently GhaFFaP members initiated the  above mentioned interventions, adding that his  outfit had already distributed some indigenous tree seedlings to groups in communities, including, women, youth and PWDs to grow in their respective communities. 

“GhaFFaP’s which has membership of 1,042,780 made of 478,623 women and 564,157 men (of which 20 per cent are youth representing12 FFPOs evolution influenced by the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) and members desire to maximise strength in numbers to build Sustainable and Profitable Forest and Farm Businesses, contribute to shaping National Policy and promote Climate Resilient Landscapes at scale,” he added.

The Federation members  from the Savannah ,  Upper East and Upper West Regions who attended the two day conference,   expressed their dissatisfaction about the  shortage of government’s  subsidies on  farm inputs for smallholder farmers in this year’s farming  season and appealed to government to correct the problem in the incoming farming season. 

They also complained about packaging and branding and marketing of their farm produce and equally impressed upon government to take proactive steps to address the issue.

FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, NAVRONGO

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