The reason young trees survive only in Navrongo— Forestry Commission shares secret with the press

Emmanuel Owusu, District Manager, Forest Services Division, Navrongo.

It has become an annual affair, since 2021, to celebrate the state-initiated Green Ghana Day with a tree-planting fair across the 16 regions of Ghana.

The government, in line with the afforestation and reforestation goal of the initiative, provides millions of seedlings every year for the day.

A quota of those young trees is allocated to each of the regions and entrusted to the Forestry Commission.

The commission then, through its Forest Services Division (FSD), shares the seedlings among itself, institutions and individuals not only to plant them but also to grow them.  

But a number of factors, including free-range ruminants and indiscriminate cattle grazing by nomadic herdsmen, remain a widespread threat to the survival of the young trees after planting.

This year’s celebration— themed “Our Forests, Our Health!”— is targetted at planting 10 million trees nationwide.

A nursery at Navrongo.

Of that number, the FSD is set to plant 235,000 seedlings in four political areas in the Upper East Region.

These areas include Builsa North Municipality, Builsa South District, Kassena-Nankana West District and Kassena-Nankana Municipality. They are headquartered under Navrongo, in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality.

As the country observed the Green Ghana Day on Friday, 9 June 2023, the District Manager in charge of the four areas, Emmanuel Owusu, told newsmen the survival rate of the seedlings assigned to the Navrongo head office was incomparable in the entire region.

Sharing the secret of that professed success with the press, he indicated that one of the surest ways to achieve a desired result was knowing when to act.

The District Manager (left) and the Paramount Chief of Navrongo, Pε Asagepaare II, planting a seedling on Green Ghana Day, 2023.

“Let me start from 2021; our target was 40,000. And we exceeded our target. We were able to plant 59,161. And the survival rate, about 50% survived. And 2022, which is last year, our target, we were to plant 200,000 seedlings. And we also exceeded our target by getting 235, 261. And this one, the survival rate was around 53%.

“Navrongo, I can tell you that the whole of Upper East, no district can go and show you this is the success story [more] than Navrongo. The success story is that we study the rainfall pattern. Green Ghana Day is today. Some people will go and distribute the seedlings and the message will come like that,” he stated.

The seedlings include: cassia, teak, kapok, baobab, mahogany, cashew, mango, neem, eucalyptus, senya, papao and others.

Continuing, he said: “But I will not go and distribute the seedlings for the seedlings to die. We will go and do the ceremonial [planting], take the people’s contacts and when the ground is favourable, we supply so that we get results.”   

Listen to the audio of the quote below:

Source: Edward Adeti/Media Without Borders/


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