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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Cocoa farmers in Western North call for reforms in off-reserve timber resources –

Cocoa farmers in the Western North Region said the Government and stakeholders must initiate steps to amend the Concession Act 1962 (Act 124) to give farmers reasonable benefits from proceeds accrued from the commercialization of off-reserve timber resources.

The planting or nurturing of trees and timber resources forms part of a major climate change mitigation strategies for most farmers, but existing tree tenure and benefits sharing arrangements for off-reserve timber resources had been a great disincentive to the farmers.

With support from TROPENBOS Ghana, they called on the Forestry Commission to take urgent steps to address the situation to improve tree cover in off-reserve areas, and help combat climate change, while enhancing sustainability.

Mr Boakye Twumasi Ankra, the Project Manager, TROPENBOS Ghana, on behalf of the farmers, explained that the Concession Act 1962 (Act 124) gave the state authority over all naturally occurring trees, which was not motivative enough for farmers to genuinely nurture the trees on their farms.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency after a sensitisation programme for more than 300 farmers in region, he said the Act took away tree ownership rights from farmers.

“The only right the farmer has is to give written consent to the harvesting of specified trees on their farms with no direct financial benefit from revenue accrued from such trees.”

Mr Ankra, therefore, urged stakeholders to initiate steps to amend the law to help farmers benefit directly from trees on their farms.

Source: GNA

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