The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has lifted oil palm seedlings as alternative livelihood project for youth who are being stopped from engaging in illegal mining popularly known as Galamsey.
The hybrid seedlings, totaling four million, were funded by the Minerals Development Fund (MDF).
Delivering a keynote address to launch the oil palm trees scheme at Richie Plantations Limited on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, Mr. Jinapor said the oil palm trees will help provide alternative livelihood for the youth who are being removed from illegal mining activities.
He said Government was keen on protecting the environment and ensuring that water bodies in Ghana, especially those in the southern part of the country, were safe for consumption.
“As we are all aware, mining which is one of the mainstay of many a community in the region deals with depletable resources and also compete with other land-use activities in such communities,” he noted.
“It is therefore important that Alternative Livelihood Projects (ALPs) are developed to equip people living in mining communities with skills to improve upon their economic lives independent of mining. This is also to ensure that mining communities do not become ghost towns even after cessation of mining.”
“The Ministry’s effort at curbing illegal mining also requires that the energies of our young ones engaged in illegal mining menace are redirected into sustainable livelihoods activities such as oil palm plantations,” he said.
“Since 2017, the ALP has supplied over 2 million oil palm seedlings to beneficially farmers in mining communities.”
“17 Municipal and District Assemblies from 4 regions namely Ashanti, Western, Central and Eastern have so far been covered under the project”.
“16 thousand + beneficiaries have enrolled on the project since 2017,” according to him.
“46 thousand + acres covered since 2017 and creating other forms of economic activities in host communities,” he said.
Mr. Jinapor bemoaned how most water bodies in Southern Ghana have virtually been destroyed by activities of illegal small scale mining.
He seized the opportunity to call on traditional leaders in Akuapem to join the fight against Galamsey, pleading that the war against Galamsey must be seen as a collective.
Touching on the Green Ghana Project, he said come June 11, 2021, about five million trees will be planted across the country in a single day.
He said President Nana Akufo-Addo, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, Chief Justice, the Speaker of Parliament, the Asantehene, and other important personalities will plant trees on June 11.
He stated that the Ya Naa will also be part of the tree planting exercise.
According to him, economic trees such as rosewood, nim will be planted.
Present at the lifting of the seedlings were the Eastern Regional Minister, Seth Acheampong, CEO of Richie Plantations Limited, Richard Ekow Quansah.
By Melvin Tarlue, Akwatiakwaso