Reforesting Tain II
Little original forest remains in the reserve the surrounds the Tain River. As with many of Ghana’s reserves, Tain II has suffered from illegal logging, agricultural expansion and wildfires; by 2012 it was a mosaic of degraded savannah, farmland and unmanaged teak plantation.
In 2017, Form Ghana launched effort to restore and reforest the 117,000-hectare landscape with the support of Partnerships for Forests. The plantation management company began developing a sustainable agroforestry model as part of a wider partnership agreed in 2013 with the Forestry Commission and Traditional Authorities that could improve the productivity and biodiversity of the reserve as well as the livelihoods of nearby communities.
Photo: © DOB Ecology
Sitting in the fringes of Form Ghana’s plantation, Thompson’s farm has benefitted from joining the maize programme. After receiving high-yielding, certified maize seeds he was able to plant them between Form Ghana’s teak trees.
While the trees grow, this agroforestry system gives Thompson and other farmers access to more land, and extra income from helping weed the teak.
Photo: © Form International
“Because of the intensive maize programme,” says Thompson, “I will have a much higher yield than previous years.”
As well taking advantage of the job training and technical advice, he said the extra income had been a real boost for his family, and meant that he and his wife could celebrate one of their three sons graduating from his business course earlier this year.
Photo: © DOB Ecology
Preventing the spread of wildfire
Thompson has taken on another key role within the project as the head of the Akrokrom cluster’s Community Fire Squad.
Unmanaged, fires used for land clearance in the dry harmattan season between November and March risk consuming large swathes of forest and threaten farmland. The Community Fire Management component of the project has trained Thompson and other local fire officers to reduce the risk of wildfire and spreads awareness through community campaigns.
Already, Thompson has led several training sessions. Introducing the Fire Danger Index, he shows other farmers how to safely use fire for land clearing, making sure they request permits before fire season if they intend to do so. He and the other fire officers closely supervise any clearing.