By Emmanuel Akayeti
A Bushfire Management Stakeholder Forum has been organized for players in the Agriculture Industry in Bolgatanga, Capital of the Upper East Region.
It was dubbed “Bushfire Management for Improved Agriculture Outcomes in Northern Ghana”. It highlighted the intrinsic linkages between bushfire management and improving agriculture outcomes.
The forum was organized by the Bushfire Management Alliance (BMA) which currently comprises the Ghana Agriculture Sector Investment Programme (GASIP), which is funded by Government of Ghana and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); the European Union Resilience Against Climate Change (EU-REACH); the EU/BMZ co-funded Market-Oriented Agriculture Programme in North West Ghana (MOAP NW); Training and Extension for Conservation Agriculture in Savannah (TECAS); and Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organizational Development (CIKOD).
About 90 participants across Upper East, Savanna and North East Regions drawn from academia, Traditional Authorities, the media, the security agencies, Fire Service, NCCE, NADMO, and CBO among others attended the forum.
Speaking in an interview with GBC URA Radio in Bolgatanga, the Climate Change Adaptation Manager of GASIP Dr. Edmund Kyei Akoto-Damso indicated that, the goal of GASIP is to sustainably reduce poverty in rural Ghana, by increasing profitability and resilience to climate change of Agribusinesses and Smallholder farmers.
It was against this backdrop he stated that, the Bushfire Management Alliance (BMA) emerged out of a pressing need to coordinate efforts with calculated steps to control the perennial issue of bushfires, to achieve the common goal of improving productivity and sustainability of agriculture, as a shared goal of all key stakeholders in the agriculture value chain, to manage bushfires in Ghana.
Dr. Akoto-Danso said from experience, all the institutions have strategies to fight bushfire occurrences and what was lacking was how to coordinate their efforts in the common fight and there is the need to embrace a more progressive, collaborative, and efficient ways of doing things.
In a message, Alabira Ibrahim on behalf of the National Programme Coordinator of GASIP, Klutse Kudomor indicated that bushfire continues to pose a serious challenge to the achievement of the objectives of many development interventions in the country and this is a worrying situation. He stated that, with the current trajectory of climate change and the accompanying global warming, it has become more of a necessity than a choice for countries across the world to maintain a green cover by planting more trees.
He said apart from the economic value that trees provide, the existence of trees also help to protect humanity from the devastating effects of climate change. It has become imperative, more than ever before, to take measures that will ensure that enough green cover to absorb the carbon emissions and protect the Earth are sustained.