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02.07.2005 Regional News

Some communities in the Volta Region given nursery tools


Ho, July 2, GNA- The Forestry Plantation Development Board on Thursday presented nursery tools to some communities in the Volta Region, to enhance afforestation projects there. The beneficiary communities that received the tools through their associations involved in tree planting are Tanyigbe and Abutia in the Ho Municipal area, Jasikan in the Jasikan District, Domaben in the Nkwanta District and Sogakofe and Addodo in the Denu District.

Mr George Tsawodzi, a 45-year-old disabled cripple, who has cultivated 200 acres teak plantation near Ayinawarse in the Ho area, would also benefit from the package, made up of 250 cutlasses, 55 buckets, 15 hand forks seven wheelbarrows and Wellington boots. In a speech read on behalf of Osagyefo Amotia Ofori Panin, the Okyehene and Chairman of the Board, he said tree plantation development was necessary due to the over exploitation of the country's forest.

The Okyehene said inspectors from the Board's office would visit beneficiary communities to inspect tree plantations to ensure their successful implementation.

Mr Mawutor Goh, Ho Municipal Chief Executive, reminded the public that the National Forestry Plantation Development Programme, an environment protection strategy, formed part of the Presidential Special Initiatives. He said the main objective of the programme was to plant trees, create employment and reduce poverty in befeciary communities.

Mr Goh said the forest protection and afforestation programme was a priority of people of the Danquah-Busia tradition. He also said the past and the current rural electrification programme in the country would have been a farce if the defunct Progress Party government had not established over 50,000 hectares of teak plantation in the country. Mr Goh, therefore, appealed to land owners to release land to the youth, Churches and institutions for forest plantation development. He also asked the Board to include fuel wood and firewood tree growers in their programmes and support them with funds. Mr Goh asked beneficiaries of the afforestation programme to be conversant with the provision of section C of the Plantation Development Fund Act 2000, Act 583 Section 3(3).

It states that a beneficiary who observes the conditions of the Fund was entitled to exercise the right of ownership over any timber produced. Mr Goh said: "If you fail to comply by the provision of the Act which established the Board then the plantation so established is not yours". The Board was set up by the Ministry of Lands, Forestry and Mines to promote the national forestry programme in the country.