Natural regeneration farmers prune trees to mark Green Ghana Day

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Social Trees Pruning
Social Trees Pruning

Farmers practsing natural regeneration of trees and shrubs at Dasang and Kparaboug, two farming communities in the Nabdam District of the Upper East Region, have pruned trees, to mark this year’s Green Ghana Day.

The exercise, led by lead farmers in the communities, trained on the Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) approach, pruned both economic and herbal trees in some forest reserves and farmlands.

The exercise had support from EKO, a United States based human rights and social justice organization.
The concept of FMNR is a simple, flexible and fast re-greening method which involves community members and farmers deliberately allowing the regrowth of trees and shrubs from felled tree stumps, sprouting root systems or seeds on farms or community graze lands.

It is aimed at pruning and managing existing trees to regrow to restore the fast-degrading forest and woodland resources without necessarily planting new trees.

Through the Forum for Natural Regeneration (FONAR), a national environmentally focused organization, the farmers were trained on how to practice natural regeneration approaches to restore degraded lands for sustainable agricultural productivity, food security and poverty reduction.

It was part of the implementation of a two-year FMNR for women empowerment and livelihood project funded by Awaken Trees Foundation of Austria.

Mr Joel Yenyeya, one of the lead farmers, said the FMNR method had been beneficial to the two communities, adding that it had been more effective in restoring lost trees than planting new ones and appealed for it to be extended to other communities.

He said: “We have in the past tried several times to plant new trees but has not been successful due to lack of water, we don’t have much to drink let alone to water trees, but this method has been so effective because these shrubs in their natural state are deep rooted and needs no special management.

“I will appeal that government should partner FONAR to extend the FMNR concept to other communities in our District to make the re-greening project a reality for the restoration of our soil structure and fertility”.

Ms Vida Bugbil, another FMNR farmer, said the pruning of economic trees has led to high yields and also maintained the soil moisture for the growing of crops and vegetables.

Mr Sumaila S. Saaka, the Executive Director of FONAR, addressing the media after the exercise, said the FMNR was less expensive to practice and an effective method that could quickly restore tree cover in the five dry Regions of the North than planting new trees due to the poor rain pattern.

According to him, FMNR relied on indigenous (native) trees species that were adapted to the local environmental conditions and needed no special management.

He called on the government to prioritize FMNR as part of the Green Ghana Project and other national land restoration commitments to reverse the fast-depleting tree cover in the northern savannah Regions.

He also urged District Assemblies to formulate and implement bushfire byelaws to reduce the devastating effects of annual bush burning on the environment.

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