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Ghana - 13 July, 2016
Members of the newly inaugurated Offinso Tree Growers Association will be leased degraded portions of the Opro River Forest Reserve and the Asufu East Forest Reserve to establish tree plantations under the Modified Taungya System.
This assurance was given by an Official of the Forestry Commission (FC) in response to enquiries as to how Tropenbos International (TBI) Ghana, which inaugurated the association under its Landscape Restoration Project on July 5, is going to assist its members to acquire land for plantation development.
Under the Modified Taungya System, tree growers are expected to receive 40 percent of the produce, the FC will take 40 percent while 20 percent would be given to landowners and the communities in which the forest reserves are located.
The action which is geared towards involving smallholder farmers in the reforestation of degraded forests in Ghana will allow beneficiaries to adopt the agroforestry concept whereby food crops would be cultivated alongside trees. This will ensure that farmers derive short term benefits by having access to food and also enhance food security in forest fringe communities.
The 80 members of the association who attended the inaugural ceremony also asked for logistical support in the form of farm implements such as cutlasses, wellington boots, improved tree seedlings and access to extension services.
Tree growers in the Offinso Forest District were organised into an association as a key output of the ‘Landscape Restoration Project’ being implemented by TBI Ghana in an attempt to organise smallholder plantation farmers at the grassroots in anticipation of the formation of a national tree growers association to oversee the affairs of smallholder plantation formers.
The association which draws its members from the Samproso, Kayera/Aduana, Anyinasuoso and Koforidua is the third to be inaugurated recently after the Diaso Tree Growers Association in the Dunkwa Forest District and the Nkoranza Tree Growers Association in the Kintampo Forest District.