The effect of forest plantation projects on the livelihood of forest-fringe communities in Northern Region of Ghana (A case study in Kenikeni and Yirada Forest Reserves)

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Agroforestry projects have been practiced in the Northern Region of Ghana since the introduction of agroforestry initiatives in the 1980s. The study was a case study with the main aim of providing information on the effects of plantation projects on the livelihood of the Forest-Fringe communities in Northern Region. The effect of these plantation projects on the livelihoods of rural households’ in the area is limited making it difficult for one to ascertain or recommend their importance for further improvement for the peoples’ livelihoods. It was in the light of this that the research was conducted. The study area wasconducted in two districts of the Northern Region of Ghana. Results of the study indicated that the agroforestry plantation project have great potentials of contributing to households’ income (25 percent), food (3 percent) as well as access to education (1 percent). It was found out that the plantation was the only source of accessible land for the landless inhabitants including landless female-headed households in the area. Statistically gender of household heads with main livelihood before the introduction of the plantation project showed that there were significant differences between the variables (Pr = 0.001). Lack of access to education was also found to be the major cause of illness and other livelihood problems which affect agroforestry of rural households in the area (Pr = 0.001). Agriculture is the main source of livelihood of rural residents of the area; therefore it is recommended that the government of Ghana through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources (MLNR) and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) can collaborate to promote modern agroforestry methods to improve on agricultural production in the area. To achieve this, existing agroforestry technologies have to be improved, followed by the introduction of modern and more beneficial agroforestry technologies like entomoforestry to improve household’s income levels. Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA)and other developmental NGOsshould be encouraged to channel their resources towards improving the livelihood conditions of the people in the forest-fringe communities in this part of Ghana.
A Thesis Submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science And Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Degree of Master of Science in Agroforestry, 2011.