The government is to support small and medium scale (SMS) plantation developers with US$100,000 each to establish new plantations and expand existing ones.
The scheme, under the auspices of the Forestry Commission (FC), is to promote private sector investment in afforestation for land protection and effective implementation and sustainability of plantation development as provided in the 2012 Forest and Wildlife Policy.
Mr Musah Abu-Juam, the Technical Director in-charge of Forestry, the Ministry of Lands and National Resources, said the Ministry would begin a pilot project with a World Bank grant of US$7 million next year.
Mr Abu-Juam was speaking to journalists during a two-day monitoring visit to plantation development sites by the Board of the FC under the Ghana Forest Investment Program (GFIP) in the Bono and Ahafo Regions.
The Board visited the Samartex Plantation site of the Global Green Gold Company Limited, Tain II Forest Reserve at Nsoatre in the Sunyani West Municipality where 782 out of 4,000 hectares of land are cultivated with teak seedlings since 2018.
The Board proceeded to Form Ghana Plantation, the Managers of Tain II Forest Reserve in the Berekum East Municipality where a plantation of timber and non-timber tree species covering 18,130 hectares of land had been established.
The Board further went to the Pamu-Berekum Forest Reserve in the Berekum West District to inspect a plantation of teak trees covering more than 3,000 hectares of land.
In an interview with newsmen, Mr Willem Fourier, the Managing Director, Form Ghana Forest Reserve, said the company had employed 450 permanent workers from the local communities and hoped to employ 800 more over time.