The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) has described as very disturbing the destruction of about eight-hectare of food crops at Desiri in the Ashanti region by the Forestry Commission.
The Mankranso command of the Forestry Commission over the weekend destroyed what they say are illegal farms in the Desiri forest reserves located in the Asutifi and Ahafo Ano North districts in Ashanti region.
The move was triggered after the management discovered large farms in the reserve without the approval of the forestry commission, district manager Godwin Agyeman disclosed.
The exercise which was executed with the support of the military and the commission’s guards is expected to continue on Wednesday, September 19 (tomorrow), to free the forest reserve from encroachers.
A number of farmers were also arrested and processed for court.
Commenting on the development, the Executive Director of PFAG, Madam Victoria Adongo lashed out at the Commission, describing the destruction of the food crops as insensitive.
“Forest reserves are very very important in so many ways. They maintain the ecosystem, they mitigate the effects of climate change and there are rules that guard these forest reserves. The question is whether these farmers knew. From what I knew there are crops there already. Where was the Forestry Commission when all these things were happening? It didn’t take one day to do farming there, where was the Forestry Commission? Why did they wait till the farmers have crops and now they came to destroy the crops and even arrest them for prosecution? I think they have gone too far,” she stated.
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