Community investment in climate smart sustainable agriculture within the agroforestry landscapes fringing Yaya Forest Reserve to reduce land degradation and food security in Asuakwa, Amangoase, Mallamkrom, Ayigbe and Konsua in Sunyani Forest District
Community investment in climate smart sustainable agriculture within the agroforestry landscapes fringing Yaya Forest Reserve to reduce land degradation and food security in Asuakwa, Amangoase, Mallamkrom, Ayigbe and Konsua in Sunyani Forest District
Problem statement
The forest fringe communities including Asuakwa, Amangoase, Mallamkrom, Ayigbe, and Konsua around Yaya forest reserve have been relying on traditional methods of farming that have failed to reverse land degradation. In effect the farmer is confined to cultivating on the same piece of land simply with no means of physical conservation and depends on the natural environment for survival. This dependency goes on without adequate replenishment or enough time to allow renewable resources to rejuvenate which results in land degradation. Land degradation affects resources such as soil, water, vegetation, rocks, air, climate and relief, as natural resource property. It has been reported that land degradation poses serious threats to global food security, water availability, adaptation and mitigation to climate change and the livelihoods of land dependent people. In Ghana land degradation is an environmental challenge to farming communities. There are increasing demand for arable land and already degraded farmlands in these farming communities which are usually associated with increasing population and poverty in various forms. Reports indicate that every land area has a carrying capacity beyond which it cannot be utilized without causing damage, deterioration, and decreased productivity. It is therefore important to reduce poverty by tackling it alongside the control of land degradation.

Project Objectives

To support community investment in climate smart sustainable agriculture within the agroforest landscapes fringing Yaya forest reserve to reduce land degradation and food security in Asuakwa, Amangoase, Mallamkrom, Ayigbe, and Konsua in Sunyani Forest District.

Specific Objectives

• To promote sustainable land use and agro-forestry systems with the Yaya forest fringe communities
• To establish and strengthen capacity of community based structures for sustainable land management.
• To support livelihood improvement schemes that promote biodiversity conservation, sustainable land management and climate change mitigation.

1.3 Description of Project Activities

Output 1.0: 50 ha of land outside the Yaya forest reserve placed under sustainable land management and agro-forestry systems

Activity 1.1 Introduce sustainable land management technologies (SLM) to target communities.
Sustainable land use planning will be introduced for efficient management of farmlands. The project will organize training workshop for the beneficiaries that will be directly involved with land use development and the importance of sustainable land management practices. The causes of unattainable land use that lead to land degradation and poses as a major threat to farming communities based on unsustainable agricultural practices will be identified. Collaborative institutions including Ministry of Agriculture (MoFA) and Forest Services Division (FSD) staff will use the workshops to sensitize potential project beneficiaries and to identify the potential off-reserve farmlands to be zoned into agro-forestry and farming areas. MoFA and FSD will develop integrated land use and management planning using Participatory Rapid Appraisal (PRA) tools. The planning will consist of physical demarcation of the land, preferred indigenous species and cropping systems, roles and responsibilities of stakeholders. To facilitate the development of integrated land use and management planning, the project will train various stakeholders, including traditional Chiefs and beneficiary farmers.

Activity 1.2 Pilot tree conservation systems within crop farming landscape utilizing species such as Faidherbiaalbida and support management of trees on farms: -
On average each participating farmer will be allowed to allocate a total of 2 ha of his/her own land to carry out the proposed project activities. Off-reserve plantation/woodlot and indigenous species establishment would be encouraged on an average of 0.5 ha of and would comprise mostly of agro-forestry and multi-purpose tree species. Each farmer will be supported to plant 100 trees. The project will rely on the already community nursery sites established under the CFMP for seedling production and/or strengthen their capacities for tree seedling nursery management in order to produce about 15,000 seedlings for the establishment of agro-forestry, multi-purpose trees and forest plantations. The National Tree Seed Centre (NTSC) at FORIG will provide high quality seed and planting material for exotic and indigenous species. A total of 10 nurseries will be involved in raising seedlings for the project.

Activity 1.3 Train and promote adaptive farming systems: -
New ways of farming to adapt to changes in a diversity of innovative ways will be promoted. Sustainable technologies would be implemented at the farm level to engage farmers in the dialogue on technology adoption. This will form the basis for greater sense of “ownership” by farmers, and other can also learn from farmers so that technologies implemented take into account the effects on the other farming communities. Technologies can help reconcile the necessity for sustainable land use and profitable food production and environmental conservation. The challenge is to identify what technologies work best in specific circumstances, define and provide the right incentive framework. Sustainable land use for increasing food production and environmental goals can sometimes be achieved through the adoption of appropriate technologies. Sometimes those goals can be reconciled simply by changing the level, type, and location of agricultural production.

The adoption of technologies for sustainable farming systems will be facilitated by a wider participatory approach involving a range of stakeholders. The project will provide training to promote adaptation of new farming systems. MoFA will be the leading collaborative institutions. Foremost among the adaptive strategies to be introduced after appropriate scientific analysis, may serve as a basis for modeling adaptation strategies to land use for farming will include agricultural diversification for crops and adoption of new crop mixtures and rotations, agro-forestry and other modern innovative practices.

Activity 1.4 Strengthen capacities of farmers in land management practices: -
This would be achieved through addressing the need to conserve and protect farm lands and to safeguard the livelihood and social well-being of the communities. 50 farmers will be supported to plant trees on hectares of land. Capacity of the target participants or groups will be strengthened through training needs assessment and development of training manuals/guidelines. MoFA and FSD will play key roles by organizing a two day training sessions for 50 participants from the various selected communities.

Activity 1.5 Institute mechanisms to encourage farmers to adopt improved variety of crops: -
Most planting materials used by farmers are not modern treated ones which reduce crop yields associated with overall diminished production capacity of land. The project will institute measures to support income generation through improved varieties for food crops and increase productivity.

Output 2.0: The capacities of 100 farm families strengthened to invest in sustainable land management

Activity 2.1
Form community-based land care groups: -
In collaboration with FSD and MoFA, the project will support the establishment of the community based structures which will be responsible as local liaison structures between the project and farmers. The project will train existing local structures involved in land issues and establish new ones where they do not exist. The project will equip them with requisite knowledge and skills on sustainable land use and agro-forestry and issue related to gender equity will be incorporated. Training courses will follow the principle of Training of Trainers and cover specific subjects such as access to land and use, group dynamics, agro-forestry, nursery establishment, tree species selection, silvi-cultural operations and wildfire control. Other collaborators such as Forest Services Division and MoFA will provide extension services and interact with relevant officials of District Assemblies, Traditional Chiefs; CRMCs, Tree Growers Associations, Fire Control Squads and farmers.

Activity 2.2
Initiate collaborative planning among communities to prevent land degradation outside forest reserves: -
It is important to demonstrate collaborative planning to encourage communities to participate in the preventing of land degradation. The communities’ wealth of knowledge and experience on sustainable land use would be invaluable in the course of implementing the proposed project. Focus group approach and meetings will be organized in which participants will be asked to provide their opinions about the prevention of land degradation. Analysis of communities’ perceptions of land degradation will be performed to document land degradation indicators on prevailing land use. This will lead to a short-list of land degradation indicators that communities’ feel are most relevant and important and that need to be reversed to improve land use.

Activity 2.3
Develop guidelines for farmers and other land users on sustainable management practices: -
The project will also support publication and distribution of guidelines on sustainable management practices during workshops, outreach programmes, etc. This will ensure that sustainable land use indicators can be used easily and by the communities to monitor their progress towards sustainability goals. The expected outcome of the guidelines will be the identification of indicators for land management practices that impinge on and influence land degradation and ways for improvement.

Output 3.0 Support 40 women household heads to invest in livelihood development enterprises

Activity 3.1
Undertake surveys to identify livelihood opportunities: -
A PRA survey will be undertaken by the project to catalogue relevant livelihood activities or options for each community out of the identified general list of potential activities. This Initial surveys would be undertaken to enable farmers select livelihood opportunities that are feasible in their localities and they would be willing and committed to sustain. Grant resources will be provided for beneficiaries to assist them to undertake income-generating activities. The project will encourage these activities as one of the sustainable livelihood activities by providing business development advisory service and other forms of capacity building in order to enable beneficiaries improve their output and benefits from selected livelihood activities.

Activity 3.2
Mobilize beneficiaries to undertake selected livelihood enterprises and non-environmental degrading livelihood activities: -
The project will create sustainable livelihood investment opportunities for beneficiaries. This would be achieved through the mobilization of the beneficiary communities to undertake selected livelihood enterprises and non-environmental degrading livelihood activities. Activities would include the promotion of income generating activities such as rearing of small ruminants, snail farming, beekeeping, mushroom farming, tie and dye making and the cultivation and extraction of Non-Timber Forest Products. The project will commit funds for livelihood ventures that would be administered and determined in consultation involving the beneficiaries thereby ensuring ownership, increasing commitment and ensuring success of the activities. The purpose of these funds would be to assist project beneficiaries acquire assets and start-up capital for carrying out sustainable livelihood/income generating activities. This support would otherwise have been difficult to undertake given their levels of poverty and inability to raise the requisite start-up capital. Special consideration will be given to gender, especially vulnerable women.

Activity 3.3
Undertake cost benefit analysis for identified livelihoods: -
Cost benefit analysis for each identified livelihood opportunity would be done to help farmers in decision making. The development and creation of the livelihoods are expected to enhance local wealth to serve as incentive and to promote the collaboration for sustainable land use and environmental conservation. A consultant will be hired to carry out cost benefit for the opted livelihoods. The cost benefit analysis will provide important information on profitability of the livelihood ventures to be undertaken. It will also indicate how much investment are required and expected returns.

Activity 3.4
Build capacity of beneficiary women farmers for livelihood enterprises: - The project will support the implementation of a sustainable livelihood scheme seeking to raise the household incomes of project beneficiaries. Capacity of beneficiary farmers would be built for the establishment of sustainable small scale livelihood enterprises. Linkages would be developed between beneficiary farmers in the project and farmers already trained and operating livelihood enterprises under the Community Forestry Management Project supported by GEF.

Activity 3.5
Support the establishment of community fruit tree plantations off-reserves: - The project will hold consultations with farmers to commit available lands for fruit tree plantation as income generating activities. Twenty five (25) ha of selected fruit trees would be supported and developed in the communities as piloted under the JICA sponsored PAFORM. Existing beneficiaries would be consulted and use as community resource persons to supported fruit tree plantation activities. The strategy adopts a livelihood focus, and sees fruit trees as just one element in land use decision-making and initiatives to invest and manage fruit trees on farms.

Output 4.0 Education and awareness campaign (outreach programmes)

Activity 4.1
Increase school and community awareness levels on drivers and impact land degradation: -
This will cover activities such as sensitization on available technologies; Capacity building on technologies; Development and publishing of information on tree establishment and management; Establishment and implementation of technology exchange programmes; and Development of partnerships among implementing institutions

Activity 4.2
Develop and distribute educational materials to key stakeholders: -
The projects will develop educational materials to disseminate information on the project. This will cover activities including publicity and promotional materials (e.g. posters, brochures, flyers, T-shirts, etc.). This would be achieved through public and beneficiaries awareness creation to prevent further degradation of farm lands. To improve knowledge of local communities and other stakeholders on the effects of land degradation, the educational materials will be simplified to make it easy to read and understand.

I. 50 farmers have adapted improved variety of crops including plantain, trees, vegetables, maize bon farm lands.
ii.Workshop was held for 50 farmers to introduce sustainable land management technologies
iii. About 60 educational materials on impact of land degradation has been printed out to key stakeholders
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Project Snapshot

National Forestry Forum Ghana
Area Of Work:
Land Degradation
Grant Amount:
US$ 42,600.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 23,500.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 218,500.00
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
Significant Participation of Indigenous Peoples
All the beneficiaries will be local people.
Promoting Public Awareness of Global Environment
Create awareness on climate change and biodiversity conservation
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SGP Country office contact

Dr. George Buabin Ortsin
Ms. Lois Sarpong
+233 505740909


UNDP, Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme P.O. Box 1423
Accra, Greater Accra, 233-302
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