ghana full post
Our partner networks have successfully held twenty-four training workshops for farmer groups and local schools. Through sixty-eight school projects and sixty-six community groups the projects have planted over 730 trees.
For a country so rich in natural resources, it is hard to believe that so many of Ghana’s people still live in poverty. Seventy-nine percent of the country’s population lives on less than a pound a day, in spite of the fact that Ghana’s economy has twice the per capita output than its West African neighbours. Continued resource mismanagement, and lack of environmental awareness means that the country, and its peoples’ survival is under threat.
During the past half-century Ghana’s rainforests have been destroyed through logging, over grazing, brush fires and gold mining. Ghana’s economy still relies heavily on subsistence farming, which accounts for over half the annual GDP and employs over eighty five percent of the population.
In spite of its reliance on farming, environmental issues are impacting greatly on Ghana’s agricultural industry. Soil erosion is widespread, decreasing crop yield and soil productivity. In the north of the country the Sahelian Desert is spreading across deforested lands. Ghana remains a country dependent on international financial support for its survival.
The response to the environmental crisis in Ghana has been firstly focused in the north of the country where the Sahelian Desert is encroaching on the land. Working with the Kumasi Institute of Tropical Agriculture (KITA), farmers have been taught about sustainable use of the land. These programmes aim to improve the land and environment whilst also providing new income opportunities for farmers.
Farmers are now planting multi-purpose trees to provide fuel and animal fodder and help repair the land fertility and quality of soil. Planting trees such as Moringa Oleifera (the “miracle tree”) will assist in overcoming famine and malnutrition as its edible crop provides much needed nourishment to local communities. Additional sources of food, nutrition and income are now being explored through the creation of agroforestry farms such as grasscutters and snails.