The first ever project in the country that will make farmers, communities and traditional authorities to make money from trees on their farmlands have been launched at Wassa Akropong.
The project, known as 'processing and utilisation of trees on farmlands and logging residues', is also designed to help cripple the illegal activities of chainsaw operators in the area.
The Forest Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG) in collaboration with the Forest Services Division (FSD) and beneficiary communities are implementers of the project that has the International Tropical Timbers Organisation (ITTO) based in Yokohama, Japan, as the funding institution.
The official launch of the project was marked with the handing over of logosol machines and their accessories worth 9,000 dollars to the communities to be used for the processing of the trees and the logging residues. The communities are Twifu Kyebi, Wassa Japa, Ankase, Dominase, Nsabrekwa and Wassa Akropong.
Dr Dominic Blay, the Head of Forest Management Division of FORIG and the project leader, said a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) had been signed with the six communities, the FSD and the traditional authorities to ensure smooth implementation.
He said he was sure of the success of the project because it had already been pre-tested at Wassa Agona and that 'it is a three-year project and when it becomes successful, it will be replicated in the other parts of the country'. He said 14 community members have been trained in the use of the logosol machines that are more sophisticated than the chainsaw machines.
Miss Doris Gyapomaah Oduro, the Wassa Amenfi East District Chief Executive, said the district was deprived because of lack of investors to promote businesses and create jobs for the people.
Kasapreko Kwame Bassanyin III, the Omanhene of Wassa Amenfi Traditional Area, said since it was a pilot project, the communities involved had a great responsibility to ensure its success. 'If it fails, it means the chainsaw operators will continue with their illegal operation to destroy our forests and farmlands', he said.