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08.09.2004 Regional News

Edumadze advocates for forest guards

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Cape Coast, Sept 8, GNA - The Central Regional Minister, Mr Isaac Edumadze, on Wednesday suggested the establishment of local forest guards to help check the rapid and wanton depletion of the nation's forest resources.

He said the Central Region was facing deforestation and "savannisation" especially in areas close to the coast.

Mr Edumadze said this when he opened a day's agro-forestry sensitisation workshop for 50 farmers drawn from the Cape Coast municipality.

It was under the theme " enhancing food security, environmental improvement and poverty reduction" and was organised by the Central Region Development Commission (CEDECOM), in conjunction with the Environment Protection Agency, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the municipal assembly.

Mr Edumadze said the situation was not only causing serious environmental crisis but also food insecurity, with the attendant drying up of water bodies and poor agricultural yields.

He commended the organisers of the workshop and said it was imperative for all Ghanaians to support agro-forestry projects.

In a speech read for him, the acting Executive Director of CEDECOM, Mr John Akowuah, said his outfit attaches importance to agro-forestry practices and its agro-forestry department has cultivated large hectares of teak and oil palm plantations in some districts in the region. It has also established a nursery, facilitated the establishment of woodlots while some women groups have been supported with seedlings and farming implements to plant woodlots in their communities.

He said CEDECOM had set up a monitoring mechanism to help ensure that the farmers use the knowledge they have acquired at such workshops effectively and that farmers who are found to have done so will be given awards.

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