Agogomanhene plants 130, 000 trees in 30 years

Even before climate change became a topical issue in the country, the Omanhene for Agogo Traditional Area, Nana Kwaku Akuako Sarpong, has for the past four decades been involved in tree planting and forest reclamation.
After ascending the throne, the Omanhene has since 1980 planted over 130,000 trees of different species on about 300 acres of land.



Although his traditional area is located in a forest area, Nana Akuako Sarpong said when he became the Chief of Agogo, he realised that people were invading the forest and cutting the trees and depleting the forest.

Being an agrarian community, he said if the trend was not reversed, most of the residents might lose their livelihood in the near future and thought it wise to embark on a vigorous tree planting programme to revegetate the degraded forest area and also plant trees along the banks of the river bodies to protect them from drying out.

In order to protect the trees and also ensure that the residents were not denied their livelihoods, Nana Akuako Sarpong allowed the farmers to plant plantain on the reclaimed land.

The plantains provided shades and protection for the trees and the farmers also ensured that the trees were nurtured to grow and gradually the area has rediscovered its vegetation cover and is now one of the greenest districts in the country.



Species

Some of the species planted included mahogany, cedrela, better known as Ofram; Wawa, Emire and Odum.

Aside from serving as a vegetation cover for the land, the trees have also ensured that the area enjoys a reliable rainfall pattern which has made the Asante Akim North one of the food baskets of the region and the country.

The district is currently leading in the production of plantain and has for the past four years been exporting plantain to the neighbouring countries namely Burkina Faso, Togo and Benin.



Plantain

As a result of Agogo’s leading role in plantain production in the country, the traditional area, under the leadership of Nana Akuoko Sarpong, last year instituted the plantain festival which is aimed at celebrating the farmers of Agogo for their sterling role in ensuring food security in the country.

Example

In order to provide cover for the trees, he said he planted plantain alongside the trees and through that in 2008 “I won the award for the best plantain farmer in Ghana.”


That, he explained, was the genesis for the residents’ interest in plantain farming and “it has now become a big time business for the people of Agogo.”

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