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31.05.2004 Crime & Punishment

Farmers arrested for farming in forest reserve

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Juaso (Ash), May 31, GNA - A number of farmers at Praso in the Asante-Akim South district have been arrested for illegally farming at Onyemso forest reserve.

Mr Charles Amoah Acheampong, Juaso district manager of Forest Services Division who disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency said some farmers who live near Onyemso forest reserve have illegally entered the forest and cut down the forest to plant food crops. He said a forest task force comprising military personnel had been dispatched there are destroying the food crops comprising Plantain, Cocoyam and Yam.

Mr Acheampong explained that the Forestry Commission has released forestland at Onyemso for 300 farmers who applied to farm under the Taungya system of farming for the purpose of a forestation.

He said under the Taungya system the farmers are given forestlands to farm to produce food crops, to take care of their families. Mr Acheampong pointed out that when the farmers have planted their crops, the Forestry Commission also engages labourers to plant trees in the farms.

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