The wealth of Ghana’s natural resources plays a significant role in its economy through farming, fishing, forestry and mining. However, a history of overexploitation and mismanagement of these resources combined with lack of environmental information undermines the sustainable development of the country.
Estimates put the costs of environmental degradation in Ghana at nearly 10 per cent of the GDP. Over the past 50 years, Ghana’s primary rainforest has been reduced by 90% and currently it loses about 2% of its forest cover annually, with only 4% of the trees cut being replaced. Bushfires, fuel wood collection, logging, agriculture and mining are considered the direct causes of forest losses.
Additionally, the current weather conditions in Ghana, such as the shift of the rainy season and the variability of rainfalls, reflect the impacts of climate change and seriously undermine food production and food security if suitable measures are not taken swiftly.
The Farmers Organisation Network in Ghana (FONG) has initiated annual tree planting events for farmers, with a particular focus on women farmers who represent 80% of Ghana’s female population. In prioritising women, the campaign reflects the essential role of women farmers in natural resources conservation and food security.
The Tree Planting Campaign involves:
- Training in the uses and relevance of agro-forestry trees
- Workshops on seed treatment, nursery management, maintenance of sustainable trees and agro-forestry technologies, such as alley cropping and windbreaks.
- Distribution of seedlings
The campaign has increased farmers’ awareness of the need to protect forest resources in agriculture and have provided valuable tips on sustainable farming practices such as efficient use of agrochemicals.
This initiative was provided by the International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP).