Ghana: Green Ghana 2023 - Deputy Lands Minister Urges Queen Mothers to Establish Bamboo Plantations

As part of efforts to restore Gha­na's degraded landscapes and contribute to global efforts towards the fight against global warming, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources in collab­oration with the Forest Plantation Fund Board held a two-day sensi­tisation workshop for Asanteman queen mothers on bamboo and rattan plantation development.

The workshop comes after the Lands Minister's visit in De­cember last year to the Ashanti Region to court support of the queen mothers, on the fight against illegal small-scale mining and a promise to engage them in the 2023 Green Ghana agenda with an initiative of planting bam­boos in commercial quantities.

Addressing the queen mothers at the workshop in Kumasi last Thursday, March 9, Mr Benito Owusu-Bio, the Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources responsible for Lands and For­estry, explained the importance of the workshop to the govern­ment because it recognised the potential of bamboo and rattan resources in improving the live­lihoods of hundreds of people that live near forest ecosystems.

He further elaborated that the workshop among other things would provide the queen mothers with good knowledge and insight into the extent to which bamboo and rattan resources in Ghana could sustain the livelihoods of communities and the enormous opportunities that exited to create jobs especially for women and the youth.

He was of the view that the outcome of the workshop was very critical as it would increase the number of stakeholders engaged in government efforts to meet the planting targets in the country's Forest Plantation Strate­gy, which sought to establish over 500,000 hectares of new bamboo plantations between 2015 -2040.

The Deputy Minister assured the queen mothers that the maiden sensitisation programme was just a pilot and the Minis­try would mobilise additional resources to ensure that the programme reached other regions so as to maximise the benefits of the bamboo industry.

"I wish to assure you of the unflinching support of my Minister and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to support this initiative. We will do our maximum best to provide the necessary technical and logistical support to promote this bamboo plantation development enter­prise," he said.

He also urged the Forestry Commission, the Director of In­ternational Association of Bam­boo and Rattan Development (INBAR) and the Plantation Fund Board to continue to provide the support required to ensure the success of the programme.

The queen mother of the Mampong, Traditional Area, Nana Agyakuma Difie II and Chairman charged the queen mothers to see the opportunity as a responsibility to their children and generations as that would help contribute to reduction in global warming and also contrib­ute to government's reafforesta­tion agenda.

She stressed that the bamboo project was not only for the Asanteman queen mothers but for all queen mothers and women in traditional authorities across country, while urging them to take it up and make it a reality.

The Board Chairman of the Forestry Plantation Fund Board, and Chief of Chiraa Traditional Area, Nana Osei Yaw Barima in his statement promised a collab­orative and smooth partnership with the queen mothers to ensure that the bamboo project is a resounding success.

Mr Joseph Osiakwan, the Technical Director for Forestry at the Ministry who gave a short presentation on the rationale for the workshop hoped that by the end of the two-day workshop, queen mothers will have in-depth knowledge on how to plant bam­boo, cultivate it and make relevant products which has commercial value from the bamboo plant.

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