BY: Salifu Adam-Jabu
TREEAID, a Non-Governmental Organisation has appealed to traditional authorities and landowners to make fertile lands readily available to youth and women in the West Gonja Municipality to undertake productive agricultural activities to enhance their livelihoods.
In August 2019, the United Kingdom’s Aid (UKAID) gave TREEAID the green light to implement its Ghana Rural Agricultural & Cashew Enterprise (GRACE) project in the West Gonja Municipality of the Savannah Region targeting 3,600 farmers including women and youth in 42 communities.
But as the implementation of the project wore on, it hit a rock surface.
The staff of the NGO have had a meeting with farmers, traditional leaders, opinion leaders, the municipal assembly, the agriculture department among other stakeholders to find solutions to the pressing issues. Eric Heinno Botir the project officer TREEAID in interaction with GRACE PROJECT bemoaned the unavailability of fertile lands for the cultivation of the cash crops in the municipality.
He also underscored the pain of the women losing their investments due to an amount they owe the landowners resulting in taking back their parcels of lands. Although cashew is a cash crop with the promise of cash for its cultivators, its price keeps fluctuating, a situation Mr. Eric calls for assistance to end.
The NGO, TREEAID Ghana, established in 1987 by a group of foresters is currently working across five regions in Ghana including the Savannah Region. Meanwhile, bearing the pain of losing their investments, some farmers taking part in the project narrate their ordeals.
Madam Adam Ramatu lamented on the activities of cattle herders and bush fires on the cultivation of cashew in the municipal and appealed for support.
Chief Ahmed, a sub-Chief of Buipe Traditional Area identifies the long-term cultivation of cashew as the main cause fueling the reluctance of leaders in the municipality to lease lands for the women.
However, he expresses optimism that the chiefs will give the women the go-ahead to cultivate the cash crop for greater economic benefits.
Source Adoanewsonline Correspondent (Savannah Region Damongo)