Ghana — THE PRESIDENT of the Afigya Sekyere District Citrus Farmers Association (ASDCFA) in the Asante Mampong scarp area, Kwadwo Adu, has disclosed that the members of the association lose about GH¢200,000 annually to bushfire in the area.
He revealed this at the launch of the ASDCFA recently held at Asante Mampong in the Ashanti region. The event brought together some of the important stakeholders including the Fire Service, the Police Service and the Mampong Municipal Assembly.
It is estimated that the country loses about 10 million dollars annually to bushfire alone, which is equivalent to three percent of the countrys Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Mr. Adu believes that the negative impact of bushfire did not only erode the investment of farmers but also had long term effect on the environment, a situation that needed governments attention.
The association, which is sponsored by the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge Fund, and funded by the Danida, EU and USAID, seeks to adopt fire volunteer concept to help their operations. This can be done through dialogue with stakeholders in order to enact effective by-laws for the prevention of the bushfire menace, and engaging experts to educate members on how to avert bushfire.
The ASDCFA president said it was in the interest of the state and government to treat issues of bushfire with urgency noting that controlling the bushfire menace will guarantee food security and stable food prices.
He said it will also guaranteed regular payment of taxes and levies by producers and sellers of farm produce to the central government and Assemblies for other development projects in the country.
Chief Superintendent Solomon Nti, Patrick Kyere Mensah and Daniel Appau Hyiaman of the Mampong Divisional Police Command, Mampong Fire Service and the Mampong Municipal Assembly respectively pledged to assist the association in its activities to help curb the perennial problem of bushfire.
The association would seek to protect the interest of members, advocate better farming environment, educate members on new techniques in chemical applications, and mobilize resources within and outside the group to support members.