The Private Afforestation Developers Organization (PADO) has called for the setting up of a dedicated fund to support private forest plantation development.
Mr. George Asamoah Amankwaa, its President, said they had been struggling to maintain and manage the plantations because of the lack of funds.
He indicated that members of the organization required sufficient financial resources for effective plantation management – construct fire belts, pest and insect control, security and safety.
Mr. Amankwaa, who spoke to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Kumasi, mentioned bad roads, insect attacks, forest fires, cattle grazing and stock theft as some of their major challenges.
PADO, incorporated in 2010 as the umbrella organization of private forest developers in Ghana, currently has 152 members, with a total land size of about 15,200 hectares, out of which 14,000 hectares, had been planted.
He said they had been working hard to encourage and bring all the 331 private developers undertaking commercial plantations within degraded forest reserves into the fold of the organization.
He applauded the government for granting the organization GHȼ300,000.00 towards strengthening of its structures and for allocating a place for it to serve on the Forest Commission Plantation Forum.
This, he said, was a recognition of the vital role the organization was playing, to restore the forest cover.
Mr Amankwaa invited all private forest developers to forge a united front to drive the nation’s forest plantation development agenda.