‘Effective land management, critical to sustainable agriculture’

Accra, Professor Kwabena Frempong Boateng, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation has said effective land management was critical to the country’s sustainable agriculture, food and security.

He said good land management contributed to economic growth, biodiversity and women’s empowerment, saying government had put in place measures to deal with upstream and downstream issues.

The Minister said this at the 4th conference of the Sahel and West Africa Programme (SAWAP) in support of the Great Green Wall Initiative in Accra.

SAWAP is an initiative that brings together countries under a common programme to address issues of land degradation.

The conference is aimed at facilitating experience and knowledge sharing amongst countries participating in sustainable land management projects and ensure collaboration between countries to address land degradation.

He said land degradation in Africa had been recognised as a development issue because of its impact on the productive capacity of the land, adding that in Ghana, rural households were the most affected by land degradation because of heavy dependence on agriculture and other natural resources.

Prof Boateng noted that compromised environmental services included; nutrient cycling, regulation of hydrological flows, provision of natural resources and amelioration of climatic extremes and floods.

He said the introduction of TerrAfrica had helped the country to develop a strategic investment framework for sustainable land management and the agriculture sustainable land management strategy and action plan, creating a strong enabling environment and roadmap for investment.

He commended the Global Environment Facility through the World Bank for supporting the implementation of the country’s sustainable land and water management project aimed to support farmers in the Northern Savannah zone to adopt sustainable land management practices.

Mr Henry Kerali, World Bank Country Director for Ghana, said Africans depended heavily on soil, water, vegetation and natural resources assets, but these resources have been deteriorating as a result of unsustainable management and expanding human settlement generating increase demand for food, water and land.

He said there was growing evidence and concern that the land degradation and natural resource depletion were leading to migration and that statistics revealed that almost 50 per cent of the country’s forest cover had been lost over the past 50 years.

Mr Kerali noted that these challenges transcended institutional and geographic boundaries and required collaborative vision and action and that addressing natural resource degradation and desertification required multi-sectoral collaboration at the landscape level.

Source: Ghana News Agency