The Project Manager of World Vision Ghana (WVG) Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR), Samuel Abasiba, has admonished the government to consider integrating the FMNR concept in its Green Ghana project in mitigating the impact of climate change.
According to him, Greening Ghana through tree planting alone is not only expensive but unsustainable, and thus the alternative of pruning shrubs into trees is economical, with great results.
Speaking to Citi News during a presentation of 120 cutlasses by Sustainability Head of Orland Food Ingredients Ghana, Kennedy Ntoso, to FMNR volunteers at Yemeriga in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region, Mr. Abasiba, said, his outfit was engaging policymakers to adopt FMNR to restore and green the Northern regions.
“Tree planting in Upper East or the Northern regions is a very herculean task because you need to water the trees, fence around them and all that is so costly. But FMNR practice which is just pruning the shrubs already exists. Ironically, they rather go and plough the shrubs and plant new trees which are sometimes not indigenous trees, and so they are not surviving because of the long spell of drought and the devastating effect of animal grazing.”
“I think tree planting in Upper East is a tough business, and we are engaging policymakers to convince them that, for land restoration in the Northern regions, FMNR is the best option. We have had engagements with the Upper East Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu and head of departments on the adaptation of FMNR”.
Mr. Abasiba, stated that, the FMNR concept utilises community volunteers to prune shrubs within their areas and enacts by-laws and watchdog groups to protect such areas against tree cutting and bush fires.
The FMNR project, which started in Yameriga in the Talensi District by supporting volunteers with wellington boots and cutlasses to prune shrubs, is now in five other districts where bare and degraded lands are being turned into forests.
Assibi Yin, an FMNR volunteer said, the FMNR fields provide fodder and shade for their animals in the dry season, herbs for healing, fruits for their children, attraction of some wildlife animals to the community and reduce the impact of climate change.
On his part, project manager EU LEAN, World Vision, Joseph Edwin Yelkabong, described the success of the FMNR at Yameriga as a learning centre for the establishment of 10 FMNR fields each in West Gonja and Kassena Nankana West Districts in the North East and Upper East Regions respectively.
Mr. Yelkabong, appealed to individuals and organisations to support the FMNR concept with tools and logistics to help combat the effects of climate change and land degradation.