Kwamekyemkrom (Ash), May 18, GNA - The Ministry of Lands, Forestry and Mines in collaborating with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) is to procure farm trucks for communities engaged in the Modified Tuangya Reforestation System to enable them cart their foodstuffs to the marketing centres.
The objective is to help reduce post harvest losses being experienced by the farmers to ensure the availability of foodstuff on the market. The Modified Tuangya System, which was introduced by the government in 2002, involves the inter-cropping of approved tree species and food crops in degraded forest reserves to replenish them while boosting food production at the same time.
Mr Agyei Yeboah, Deputy Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines, who made these known, said plans were also underway to secure credit facilities to the farmers to enable them expand their coverage and to take proper care of the trees.
He was addressing the farmers engaged in the programme at Tinte-Bepo forest reserve at Kwamekyemkrom in the Ahafo Ano South District on Wednesday.
Mr Yeboah said the introduction of the programme had increased food production and helped stabilise the cost of food. He said farmers engaged in the programme had 40 per cent share in the sales of the trees and advised them not to be interested only in the food crops but take good care of the trees as well to ensure that the forest reserves were replenished.
Mr Yeboah visited the Nsuta portion of the reserve where illegal logging and chain-sawn operations were rampant. He also visited Camp 2, one of the numerous settlements inside the Desire Forest Reserve, where squatters had illegally built houses, schools and planted cocoa and other crops.
Mr Yeboah advised the squatters to stop their illegal activities since that could compel the government to evict them. Some of the squatters said they had settled in the reserve for over 70 years and had polling centres where registration and voting were held during elections.