AgricultureEnvironmental Issues

Plantation Strategy ScienceEnvironmental news Committee inaugurated to review Ghana’s Plantation Strategy

Mr John Allotey, Chief Executive Officer, Forestry Commission, has inaugurated a nine-member Forest Plantation Technical Steering Committee to review Ghana’s Plantation Strategy to help increase Ghana’s green cover.

He said the Committee, among other things, would focus on research to improve on seedlings and practices, marketing of plantation timber with value addition and measures to retool the timber processing firms so they could serve the needs of the local market.

“If we want to develop this plantation then we need

to march equipment expertise, market with the raw material we are churning out,” Mr Allotey said.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony held at the Headquarters of the Forestry Commission, he urged the Committee to make available their recommendations in three months.

Members of the Steering Committee are Prof. Joseph Cobbinah, Former Director, Forestry Research Institute of Ghana, Mr Joseph Osiakwan, Technical Director, Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and Mr Hugh Brown, Executive Director, Forest Services Division, Forestry Commission.

Others are Prof Dan Ofori, Chairman, Forest Plantation Investor Forum and Faculty Member, University of Ghana Business School, Prof Daniel Aninagyei Ofori, Director, Forestry Research Institute of Ghana, and Dr Michael Ansong, Faculty Member, Department of Silviculture and Forest Management.

The rest are Mr Isaac Adonteng, Ghana Institute of Foresters, Mr Addo Kuffuor, Forest Plantation Timber Exporters and Loggers Association

(FOPTELA) and a-yet-to-be-named person for the position of Director of Operations, Plantations, Forest Services Division, Forestry Commission.

The Ghana Plantation Strategy which was to be reviewed was launched in 2016 and had its implementation in 2017.

It focused on providing timber materials and investments for the timber industry while creating opportunities for sustainable livelihoods.

The document required that the Forestry Commission should increase the plantation cover by about 4.4 million hectares, however, a total of 690, 000 hectares had been achieved.

Addressing the Committee, Mr Allotey said the deficit had been due to challenges, including inadequate funding, though the Commission had been getting some funds from the government.

He urged the Committee to consider funds from climate sources where Ghana could sell carbon to raise revenue.

“Fortunately, we have a seven-million-dollar funding to go into this area. We are in a good place to start the processes for the disbursement of the money to the private sector. The Committee should look at this,” he said.

Prof. Joseph Cobbinah, Chair of the Committee, said: “There has been a massive assault on the forest where it had been reported that we have lost about 20 per cent of our forest cover in the last 20 years.”

He said the Plantation Strategy had a target of planting 625, 000 hectares of plantation, an enrichment planting of 100, 000 hectares, maintenance of already existing 235, 000 hectares and incorporating trees into the agricultural landscape.

“What we are going to do is what we call situation analysis. We need to determine what is happening right now and what needs to be done,” the Chairman said.


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