Farmers raise concern about havocs of bush fires

Farmers raise concern about havocs of bush fires

9 July 2009

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Ghana —

Farmers from the three Northern Regions, Upper East, Upper West and Northern at a consultative dialogue meeting raised concerns about the devastating effects of bush fires on their farms and how it worsen their economic situation.

They said the bye-laws regulating bush fires were not being enforced by the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies and that the institutions such as the Fire Service, the Police Service and the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) had all fallen short of their responsibilities and thereby deepening the plight of farmers.

Alhaji Nashiru Kadari, Treasurer of the Northern Cereal Growers, Marketers and Processors Association of Ghana made these remarks when addressing a meeting of the Association in Tamale on Wednesday.

The meeting was attended by farmers from the three Northern Regions, officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, the Fire Service, NADMO, Chiefs and Opinion Leaders.

He said the annual ritual of bush burning did not only destroy farms and degraded the environment, but also disenables farmers to expand the frontiers of doing business in terms of access to credit and crop insurance.

Mr. Kadari said if steps were not taken to prevent the recurrent outbreak of bush fires the consequences would be the annual decline in food production and the resultant poverty that farmers face.

He called for a high level collaboration among the traditional authorities, district assemblies, EPA, Fire Service and NADMO to work towards the strictest enforcement of the anti bush burning bye laws.  

Mr. Kadari said the district assemblies in collaboration with the Fire Service should set up a task force to undertake a vigorous and sustained public education to create people’s awareness on the menace of bush fire.

He said anti bush burning bye laws should be reviewed to include an incentive package for good citizens who blow the whistle on offenders.

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