Evaluation of incentive packages to farmers for tree planting: a case study of Ashanti Region of Ghana

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Rural dwellers rely on forest resources for their livelihood. However, population pressure, poor farming practices, indiscriminate felling of trees etc, have resulted in forest resource depletion and degradation. Tree planting by rural people has been recognised as one of the measures to reverse this situation Nevertheless, rural people are resource poor and for that reason need to be assisted and/or encouraged by way of incentive packages for the adoption of tree planting. This study was undertaken in forty communities from eight districts in Ashanti Region of Ghana to identify the organisations that provide incentive packages, the items they provide, and the recipients of the packages through field observations, household interviews, and participatory rural appraisal techniques as well as from secondary data sources. An important aspect of the study was the examination of beliefs, perception and attitudes of farmers on incentive packages on tree planting. A number of factors were identified to affect tree planting and its success. Among these were socio-economic variables like education, income, perception of farmers, and commitment on the part of adoptors, expected benefits and tenure. Results of the study revealed that on the average, most farmers do not get access to incenoive packages like working tools, food, cash, insecticides etc. Farmer’s prefer cash in the form of credit and/or grants to other items like food, seeds/seedlings, working tools, insecticides etc. Incentive packages motivate farmers in tree planting. Finally, tree planting and conservation projects must carry with them financial gains and input supply schemes to realise the success required.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of the Degree of Master of Philosophy in Agroforestry, 1996