Pusu-Namongo (U/E), Feb. 12, GNA – The Forum for Natural Regeneration (FONAR), an environmentally focused Organisation, has advocated the adoption and integration of Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) into national, regional and local agriculture and forestry policies to help restore degraded lands and forest reserves.
It said although the government’s Green Ghana initiative was a laudable programme, which sought to plant trees across the country, FMNR was more sustainable in re-greening degraded landscapes and improving livelihood in communities.
It said apart from the restoration strategy, it will also impart onto the farmers ecological and agriculture best practices.
The Organisation made the call at Pusu-Namongo in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region at a two day training of selected school teachers on implementation of the FMNR project in their schools.
It was organised by FONAR with financial support from the Awaken Trees Foundation, an Austrian organisation with interest in environment.
The FMNR is an easy and low cost land and forest restoration technique used to increase the number of trees in the field through the protection and management of trees and shrubs regenerated naturally from tree root stocks, stumps and dispersed seeds by animals rather than planting new trees.
It is used to sustainably combat poverty and hunger among poor subsistence farmers by increasing food and timber production and resilience to climate change.
Mr Sumaila Saaka, the Executive Director, FONAR, noted that for the country to effectively address land degradation, re-green and restore the forest reserves, programmes and policies at all levels must take into context the targeted areas and the best approach to adopt.
He said currently, FMNR was being practiced in about 27 countries across the world and in Ghana, the initiative had been piloted in the Talensi District where it had restored several hectares of farmlands and was impacting lives.
“For instance, our Forestry Strategy says that by 2040, we should have about 3.37 million hectares of farmlands covered by tress and looking at the level of degradation in the Northern part of Ghana, it is important for us at the regional level policy makers, to make land restoration strategy significant, that it can be adopted,” he added.
He said when farmers were supported to regenerate the trees on their farms, it would not only help to restore lands and mitigate climate extremes but would also provide food to the farmers thereby improving food security among households.
Mr Saaka explained that the training of the teachers was part of implementation of a two- year project aimed at influencing stakeholders towards the adoption and mainstreaming of FMNR into policies and farming practices.
He added that the project, which was being implemented in 15 selected basic schools in the Talensi District was also training the teachers to play key roles in shaping the behaviour of the students who were the future of the country, to appreciate the benefits environment and contribute towards its sustainability.
Mr Josef Ertl, Founder and President of Awaken Trees Foundation, explained that the practice was cost effective and appealed to stakeholders to support farmers to incorporate the initiative into their local farming systems for improved yields.
“FMNR can have a huge impact on food security because some trees fertilize and protect the soil from harsh winds and cool down the micro climate,” he added.