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19.07.2005 Regional News

Help farmers to preserve forest reserve-Chief

GNA

Atia (B/A) July 19, GNA - Nana Appiah Sakariya, Odikro of Atia, a farming community in Techiman municipality, has appealed to the government to release the Sawsaw Forest Reserve to farmers to ensure its preservation against bush fires.

He said the annual 'ritual' incidence of bush-fires in the forest called for serious efforts by farmers and the government to help curb the problem once and for all.

Nana Sakariya made the appeal after conducting Ghana News Agency through a 12-acre cocoa and teak farm project at Atia, which has cocoa, mahogany, teak and other varieties of trees.

The project also has a livestock farm of cattle, goats, sheep, fowls and a fishpond.

Nana Sakariya said in addition to these projects, he undertakes maize production and he was adjudged the second best farmer in the 2004 farmers' day award held at Krobo in the municipality. He asked that farmers be given a percentage of the species that they groom to maturity, adding that most farmers suffered in the long run from concessionaires who claimed ownership of the area. The chief alleged that such concessionaires did not plant trees but felled trees indiscriminately, destroying food crops and called on government to allow farmers to own trees that they nurtured on their farms.

Nana Sakariya expressed dissatisfaction with the way farmers were cheated by concessionaires, who did not pay them any compensation for their destructive activities on their farms.

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