A total of 414 farmers across five communities in the North East Region have been trained on parkland sustainability and fallow vegetation management.
The training was held at Fungu, Sakori, Chama, Fio East and West by Eco Restore Ltd and partner, Bunge Loders Croklaan.
It was to advance farmers¡¯ knowledge on strategies that could sustain parkland farming, aimed at restoring degraded landscape as well as indigenous trees.
It formed part of the Ghana Shea Landscape Emission Reductions Project (GSLERP) funded by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and implemented by the Forestry Commission (FC) with the Global Shea Alliance being a co-implementer, providing technical support.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Accredited Entity on the project.
Shea seedlings are nursed, nurtured and distributed to farmers under the GSLERP project to improve their livelihood as well as promote the sustainability of shea trees.
Participants of the training were enlightened on the essence of nurturing shea seedlings as they interacted with the resource persons on recommended practices that promoted shea and other cash crop yields.
Dr Zakaria Issahaku, Co-Founder and Director of Eco Restore, speaking during the training, said it was important to enhance the knowledge and skills of farmers, who were beneficiaries of the project, to ascertain sustainability.
He said farmers needed to be trained to take proactive measures against bushfires, livestock and other challenging circumstances that could damage shea trees.
He said ¡°This training is an opportunity to re-echo some of the tree survival strategies, so farmers can protect planted trees within the season.”
Dr Zakaria noted that the training was a beef-up education for farmers, who had already planted shea trees that were nursed and grafted by Eco Restore, adding it was to equip them to nurture the trees for bumper harvests.
He mentioned that shea pickers were connected to the market as part of the project, such that, they shared in the direct benefit of increased shea production.
Some farmers shared lessons from previous sessions of the training that had informed their decisions to adopt new approaches on their farms.
Mr Iddrisu Sabam said he planted cowpeas and vegetables together with shea trees.
He said I did not cut the shea trees to grow cowpeas because I have understood the importance of keeping shea trees.”
Abubakari Wasila, also a farmer, noted that through the sensitisation and her participation in nursing shea seedlings, she no longer cut economic trees for charcoal production.