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19.01.2006 Regional News

Soil degradation blamed on improper bush burning practices

By GNA

Duodukrom (E/R), Jan. 19, GNA - Mr Samuel Yaovi Dotse, Suhum Kraboa Coaltar District Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), has attributed soil erosion, infertility and land degradation to indiscriminate bush burning by farmers, which has led to a decline in food crops denying farmers good yields.

He said the communities lacked the skills to control bush burning and warned hunters, palm wine tappers and cigarette smokers who were often accused of starting bushfires to be cautious in their activities in the bush, especially during the dry season.

Mr Dotse was addressing chiefs and people of Duodukrom in the Suhum Kraboa Coaltar District on Tuesday on Land and Water Management. The Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) is funding the Land and Water Management Project at the cost of 15 million cedis. He said under the project, farmers would be educated to undertake the nursing of seedlings, training and demonstration on controlled burning as well as financial support to purchase nursery tools. Mr Dotse encouraged the local people to show keen interest in the project to ensure its success and to help alleviate poverty in the area. Mr Eric Afari Ackah, Deputy District Fire Officer, who took the people through fire prevention said very soon they would be supplied with logistic to be trained as volunteers.

He advised the farmers to be careful in handling naked fires to prevent destructions of farms and other property.

Mr Opare Ntiamoah, the Assemblyman for the area gave the assurance that the fire volunteer squad when formed would enforce laws on bush fires and appealed to the District Assembly to support the project.

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