The Ghana Federation of Forest and Farm Producers (GhaFFaP) has called on government to develop community by-laws to protect the felling of timbers and productive resources in the savannah zone.
The Federation said the lack of laws prohibiting these resources made it difficult for the law enforcers to protect the on-going destructive practices in the country.
This was in a communique signed by Madam Victoria Adongo, the Chairperson, GhaFFaP Steering Committee at the end of the maiden General Assembly Meeting in Accra and copied to the Ghana News Agency.
The Communique called for an increase in women’s access to productive resources especially shea and Baobab trees in the savannah zone.
It further advocated investment in the provision of centralized warehousing at the community level, which would be used to aggregate non-timber forest products especially shea and baobab.
“As part of the government policy to provide warehouses in every district, we call on authorities to target producer groups at the community level to improve access and reduce post-harvest loses”.
Mrs Adongo called on government to establish an autonomous body for the shea industry to effectively manage the sector in an effective manner.
She said the Ghana COCOA Board Act, Act 84 of 1981, put cocoa, coffee and shea under one umbrella with the same opportunities, and that over the years cocoa had dominated the Ghanaian economy with a lot of opportunities to the neglect of the shea.
Mrs Adongo called on government to create the enabling environment to market cashew and make it competitive in the global arena since the product was one of the most important cash crops in the transitional zone of the country.
“Government should fast-track the activities of the established cashew board to respond to the challenges cashew farmers faced from unfair cashew trade”.
She said GhaFFaP members especially those from the Private Afforestation Developers Organization were dedicated to developing private plantations for commercial purposes, help mitigate and adapt to the global climate crisis and also help restore the degraded forest.
However, she said the major challenge facing private developers had to do with the acquisition of entry permit from Forestry Commission to harvest merchantable trees.
She called for the decentralization of the processes to the District level to ease the strains the developers go through before acquiring the entry permit to harvest their plantation trees.
GhaFFaP is a national federation of Forest and Farm Producer Organizations drawn from three ecological zones (Savannah, Transition and Forest ecological zones) for promoting the interest of forest and farm producers in Ghana.
It was formed on September 2019 in Tamale through the influence and support of the Forest and Farm Facility.