Application of responsible ecological practices in Ghana

02/03/23

Environmental protection is crucial for ensuring the provision of ecosystem services that are vital for both humans and nature across the world. For this reason, a core mandate for us at ECOM Ghana is to encourage the maintenance of natural ecosystems through ecologically responsible practices that prevent damage to other natural resources, which is intrinsic to our agenda to create rural prosperity.

 

A key innovative approach to ensure the realization of this objective is the Payment of Ecosystem Services (PES), which involves providing incentives to farmers or landowners in exchange for managing their land to produce ecological services. Seidu Yakubu is one of the farmers who has benefited from this project in many ways, and he discusses the impact on him.

Mr Seidu Yakubu, Nyamme Nnae

 

 

Seidu Yakubu, 35, is a member of the Nyame Nnae society in the Asankragua district of the Western Region of Ghana. He had been cultivating cocoa on 1.2 hectares as a sharecropper for 12 years before he joined the ECOM Ghana family. As a sharecropper, his existence was entirely dependent on the minimal product from the farm, and he used the same income to cover his children's tuition, medical expenses, and other daily expenses.

 

Even though Mr. Seidu could attest that his cocoa farm was very old, he refused to cut it down for rehabilitation out of the concern that he would lose the farm property if he did so. Due to the effects of climate change and over-aged cocoa plants, the yield from the area was reportedly very poor.

 

A new day dawned for Mr. Seidu, when he joined the ECOM team in 2016 and was introduced to our sustainability program under Sustainable Management Services (SMS). He received extensive training in good agricultural practices (GAPs), good environmental practices (GEPs), good social practices (GSPs), and business management.

 

‘’A year after I joined the ECOM family, I learned about the PES and land tenure systems, which address farmer land rights and lessen mitigation-related issues. This right came to our rescue from the dangers of the land tenure system by renegotiating with our landlords and traditional authorities and securing some form of ownership from the forestry department for us. The leading team created a land document that included a farm plan and a signed document from the traditional rulers granting us ownership of each tree we plant on our farmlands.

 

Since then, we have been able to plant and care for a minimum of 10 fast-growing trees per acre on our farmlands, which will offer some form of protection for our cocoa trees as well as a form of climatic mitigation as instructed by our field officers.

 

I've received my farm sale documentation, which includes a guarantee on the property in the event that I decide to cut the farm for rehabilitation.

 

As a result of joining the PES program, my fellow farmers and I have been inspired to plant enough shade trees under an appropriate management system to rebuild the ecosystem.

 

In addition to obtaining money for this service, I also benefited from receiving 34 suitable shade trees and 10 pawpaw trees, which I have already planted on my land. I am also excited that they have promised to pay me a certain amount per acre for the farm. I'm really happy to have this support, and I'm looking forward to participating in more initiatives in the future since I know that everything ECOM Ghana does is for the good of farmers.’’

 

By: Anna Yayra A. Ademadjiku

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