The Paramount Chief of Bongo, in the Upper East Region, Naba Baba Salifu Aleeyaarum, has launched an environmental management project dubbed: “The Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) project,” at Bongo.
The FMNR is an ecological restoration project and involves selecting and pruning stems regenerating from stumps of natural grown trees on the field, to give them more space to grow. This stimulates faster growth of the trees.
Speaking at the launch of the project at Adoboya, the Paramount Chief who had received a number of awards for championing and sustaining the environment in his traditional area, commended the constituted FMNR groups for working hard to sustain the ecology.
He said three years ago he led some farmers from Bongo to World Vision Ghana (WVG) Talensi branch, a learning centre for the FMNR, to learn and to adopt the technology.
“After learning the technology and receiving some capacity building from WVG, I encouraged some selected communities to start the project. Today, I am overwhelmed by the success story of the FMNR and will further encourage the remaining communities in my traditional area to also start it”, he said.
He explained that unlike growing of trees, which was labour and capital intensive and difficult to maintain, it was not so with the FMNR as the farmer only needed sickles, cutlasses and Willington boots and some level of training to prune the natural shrubs to stimulate their growth.
Naba Aleeyaarum, who led the Regional Minister, Mr Albert Abongo and other dignitaries to the 12 hectare demonstration FMNR project site at the Adaboya community, explained that the benefit of the FMNR were enormous, saying the intervention had contributed to food security in countries like Niger and Mali.
“The FMNR is providing enough fodder for farmers to feed their animals, thatch for them to roof their houses, medicinal plants, fuel wood as well as fruits for children in the communities,” he said.
Naba Aleeyaarum, lauded the efforts of the government for supporting traditional rulers in the country with seedlings and motorcycles to water the seedlings during the dry seasons.
He said his vision was in line with the Government’s vision to help ensure the protection and the preservation of the environment for the future generation.
He entreated his sub chiefs and the community members to grow trees on the compounds of their households.
The Regional Minister, Mr Albert Abongo, also the outgoing Member of Parliament for the area, praised the Chief and elders for their leadership roles.
He cautioned the community members to desist from engaging in negative acts such indiscriminate bush burning and felling of trees for charcoal production among others.
He gave the assurance that government would continue to support traditional councils in the country to help champion the crusade against the destruction of the environment.
The FMNR Project, which was started by WVG in communities in the Talensi District in 2009, is now a learning centre of excellence for national and international organisations.
In 2014, a 12- member team from East Africa undertook a- three day learning tour to the project site to learn.