The Ghana Federation of Forest and Farm Producers [GhaFFaP] has stated it will plant 3million trees to help government achieve the objectives of the ‘Green Ghana Day’ initiative.
The federation joined the rest of the country to mark the day, by collaborating with the Catholic community at Yarigabisi in the Upper East Region, to plant some trees and encourage tree planting at the community level.
GhaFFaP is a national federation of Forest and Farm Producer Organizations [FFPOs] drawn from three ecological zones of Ghana – the Savannah, Transition and Forest ecological zones.
Their mission is to contribute to sustainable livelihoods of forest and farm producers through advocacy, capacity building, environmental management, business development and partnerships building.
GhaFFaP members across Ghana, also marked the Green Ghana Day.
Leadership of GhaFFaP also used the occasion to educate the community on the importance of planting trees.
Secretary for the GhaFFaP National Steering Committee, Mark Kebo Akparibo said the federation has a “Green Ghana Agenda” which was in line with government’s vision for the Green Ghana Day.
“We believe that a further collaboration in enhancing and growing these trees; not just planting them, would be the way to go”, he said.
Mark Kebo Akparibo, Secretary, GhaFFaP National Steering Committee
“We also believe that if more efforts are made towards protecting the existing tree populations across the country, it will reinforce government’s idea of planting new trees and growing them”, Akparibo added.
The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) is the apex national coordinating organization of the affairs of GhaFFaP.
President of the Association Abdul-Rahman Mohammed believes, GhaFFaP members alone can plant up to 3million trees to help government achieve the objectives of Green Ghana Day.
“Government is targeting [to plant] 5million trees and we the small holder farmers are targeting to take 3million for ourselves because our members are across the country and in today’s exercise, we are doing the same thing in all the regions”, he said.
The President of PFAG also called on government to put measures in place to ensure that persons who cut down trees are punished severely to discourage others.
In the Upper East Region, a variety of species of trees which can survive the climate were selected for the exercise.
They included neem, kapok, mahogany, moringa, dawadawa among others.
The regional Focal Person for the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, Rev. John Akaribo helped select the trees and educated the community members on the different qualities of these trees and how they can be nursed until they grow.
“When you take neem for example, it is medicinal and the seeds of neem tree is used to make oil which can be used in pharmaceuticals and for spraying pests on our farms. We also have the dawadawa tree which is an economic tree”, he said indicating that trees should not just be planted for the sake of it, but with their benefits in mind.