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13.07.2005 Regional News

Stool lands officer educates farmers on land demarcation

GNA

Abonsuaso (Ash), July 13, GNA - Mr Geoffrey Osafo-Osei, Deputy Ashanti Regional Stool Lands Officer, has advised tenant and settler farmers in the Ashanti Region to demarcate lands rented to them for agricultural purposes. He said they should make site plans to avoid frequent land litigations that waste time, resources and sometimes the loss of property.

Mr Osafo-Osei was speaking at a meeting to educate farmers and traditional authorities on the effective development and sustainable use of stool lands at Abonsuaso in the Ahafo-Ano North District at the weekend.

Farmlands, he told the farmers, are rented for a maximum of 50 years after which the landlord could take the land back and asked them not to wait until the period expired before they start fresh negotiations.

Mr Osafo-Osei said the current farm rent of 10,000 cedis paid annually by farmers occupying stool lands for agricultural purposes based on hectare had been raised to 20,000 cedis beginning from the next major cocoa season and advised them to adhere to the new rent. ''Land can be confiscated if a farmer fails to pay rent for three years.''

He appealed to both traditional authorities and farmers to use the office of the Administrator of Stool Lands, which had offices in all the regions and districts, and Alternative Dispute Resolution instead of the courts in resolving conflicts.

Mr Emmanuel Kwasi Amponsah, the District Stool Lands Officer, Appealed to the farmers to pay their annual rents regularly and explained that 25 per cent of all stool land revenue goes to the stools through the traditional councils.

The farmers expressed their unhappiness about the way some traditional authorities confiscate lands in swampy areas meant for the cultivation of rice and vegetables even when it was within the farmers' plan and appealed to the Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands for help.

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