The Centre for Climate Change and Food Security (CCCFS), a Ghanaian-based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO, is predicting a significant decline in bushfires this year due to the implementation of the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) programme.
Researchers at the Centre which focuses on food security and mitigation to climate change expect a 90 per cent reduction in bushfire cases in the transitional zone of the country, including Ahafo, Bono and Bono East Regions.
A statement signed by Baba Al-Hassan, Pragrammes Manager of the Centre, and copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Kumasi, said findings of the research conducted by the Centre suggested that farmers in the transitional zone were keen on protecting their investments under the PERD programme.
Most respondents, according to the statement, had lost hundreds of acres of farmlands to the annual infernos in the past, but would do everything possible to protect the cashew, oil palm and cocoa farms, the improved seeds of which were supplied to them by government.
“All the 150 farmers who spoke to the Centre say they would not set fire or look on while colleagues set fire to destroy their plantation,” the statement read.
According to the findings of the research, some of the farmers hitherto deliberately set fire to their farmlands to avoid the cost of engaging labourers to clear their lands, prior to the planting season.
They have, however vowed not to engage in that practice again due to the threat that it may pose to their huge investments.
It is therefore the view of the Centre that the PERD intervention is not only increasing the income levels of farmers but also protecting the vegetation and recommends the extension of the programme to more farmers in the coming years.