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Business News of Tuesday, 26 June 2018


Afram Plains: Yam farmers hopeless as Forestry Commission destroys farms

Some of the destroyed yams by officials of Games and Wildlife Some of the destroyed yams by officials of Games and Wildlife

Families of yam farmers in the Afram Plains North District of the Eastern Region have their fate hanging after officials of Games and Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission destroyed hundreds of hectares of their farms.

The unfortunate incident was an attempt to drive out the people from the place which officials claim is a reserve. A number of victims, after the incident, have been left stranded while others are finding it difficult to cater for their families since the little food they had was also destroyed in the process.

Majority of the affected persons from various tribes across the country have lived in the area which forms part of the food basket of the region and the country as a whole for decades. Affected communities include Yamourso, Nartehkura, Supowm, Sakpiti, Korlekorpe, and Digya.

The gun-wielding officials from the Atebubu District of the Brong Ahafo Region numbering 28, invaded several farms, uprooted and cut the cash crop into pieces beyond re-planting. As if that was not enough, they also chopped into pieces, harvested yams in store and eventually burnt them together with the store structures.

The incident raises a lot of concern especially in this era when the government is encouraging young people to venture into agriculture.

An affected farmer and Odikro of Yamourso, Zakariah Nkyen said they were asked to leave the place ten years ago with the government promising to provide them a place to relocate on their request.

That he said, has not been done only for the officials to besiege their farms and destroy their source of livelihood.

Adwoa Nsiah from Nartehkura, whose farm was also destroyed, narrated how the situation is having a toll on her family as she finds it difficult to cater for her children's school needs after “her last hope of Yams in store” were burnt. She appealed to the government to swiftly intervene before their children fall out of school as a result of the inactions of the Games and Wildlife officials.

Meanwhile, the Paramount Chief of Yamourso, Nana Adade, has expressed disgust at the incident, saying they have allowed the people to dwell in the land and that government should have consulted them if it intended to acquire the land for forest reserve. This, he observed will allow both the custodians and government to work out a relocation package for the people. Nana Adade Bekoe promised to pursue the case for justice to prevail.

Atinka News Edward Sebbie continues to follow up on the development to other affected communities.