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Regional News of Wednesday, 21 November 2012

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Project launched to fight poverty in forest conservation areas

Kunkumso (W/R), A five-year project to help fight poverty and provide people in forest conservation areas with alternative income sources had been launched at Kunkumso in the Bia District.

International Development and Research Council (IDRC) of Canada is providing the funding.

It is a collaborative effort by academic institutions and community organizations in Ghana, Canada and Tanzania.

Under the project, farmers in the Bia and Sewfwi-Wiawso Districts are being trained and set up in the beekeeping business. They are supplied with beehives and stands, hand gloves, hive tools, smokers, bee suits and brushes.

A number of them from Essam, Debiso, Kunkumso and Asuopiri had already benefited.

Mr Richard Gyamfi Boakye, a beekeeping Consultant, speaking at the closing of a three-day training for some selected farmers at Kunkumso, said the goal was to assist improve the lives of the people in protected areas and stop the degradation of the reserves. Returns on beekeeping, he noted, could be substantial, if properly and efficiently managed.

One hive could yield five gallons of honey and at the current price of GHC40.00 per gallon, a farmer could gross not less than GHC200.00 at the end of each harvest.

Mr Boakye said the farmers were also being supported to incorporate wildlife into their land use by planting trees to improve wildlife habitat under the "Protected Areas and Poverty Reduction Project"

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