A non-governmental organization(NGO), Rainforest Alliance, has launched a Tech4Communities project, Hybrid community-Based monitoring system (HCMS), at Sefwi-Wiawso to help fight deforestation in the area.
The project, in collaboration with Sefwi-Wiawso Municipal Assembly, Olam Ghana limited and the Sui landscape management Board (LMB’s), seeks to create a hybrid monitoring and evaluation programme that combines remote and on-the-ground data gathering tools for data management and reporting at a landscape level.
The project would help to strengthen partnerships with organizations that operate at multiple scales across the landscape and work with Licensed cocoa buying companies (LBCs) both in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.
It is targeted at over 10,000 cocoa Farmers from the Sefwi-Wiawso Municipality, Akontombra and Bodi Districts to assist Farmers to digitize their farming practices and eliminate deforestation.
Speaking at the launch, Mr Roger Micheal Kayumba, the project coordinator, said the project was to empower Farmers with the skills needed to be able to control tree planting, collect information on exiting trees and technology needed to monitor deforestation within the landscape.
He said the project would assist Cocoa Farmers to conserve biodiversity and protect the area within which they farm from illegal activities.
Mr Kayumba emphasized that the communities and traditional leaders would play a major role to ensure the success of the project.
Mr Agyabeng Ntori, Sefwi-Wiawso Deputy District Manager of the Forestry Commission, expressed worry about the high rate of illegal mining activities in the Forest enclave and tasked residents especially farmers to report such persons to the appropriate authorities.
Mr Sylvester Mensah, the Akontombra-Bodi Landscape Management Board(LMB) Chairman, said they were able to raise 60,000 economic trees through the assistance of Rainforest Alliance.
He commended Rainforest Alliance for the support, adding that farmers in the area were now into bee-keeping, snail rearing, vegetables production and piggery which earn them extra income to support their families.
Nana Kofi Nkuah ll, Chief of Sefwi-Awhiaa, who represented the Wiawso Paramount chief, commended Rainforest Alliance for the project and asked the youth to get involved to sustain the programme.
He commended Cocobod for the many policies aimed at improving the cocoa industry.