Some farmers at Achiase and Manhyia in the Ahafo Ano South West District of the Ashanti Region have accused some forest guards in the district for taking huge sums of money from them before allotting a portion of the forest reserve land for them to farm.
This follows the forestry commission’s demarcation of part of the forest reserve deforested to farmers to farm and plant trees to replace and regenerate the forest reserve.
The farmers alleged that some of the forest guards have taken the opportunity to take huge sums of money from them before being allotted some of the forest lands.
They said the forest guards are charging them GH¢100 for an acre of the forest land instead of Gh¢20 per acre.
They noted that the amount is too much and it is killing their appetite for farming since it is almost five times what they are supposed to pay.
They said because of the amount involved, they could not cultivate the acres of the farm they usually cultivate.
“I used to cultivate about 30 acres of plantain and maize, because of the amount of money they are taking, I could only acquire five acres”, a farmer, Auntie Meli said.
Another farmer said: “government is encouraging us to enter into farming, but the land that we will use has now become someone’s property and demanding a huge amount of money before releasing it to us”.
They, therefore, called on the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to intervene and rescue them if it wants to achieve the “planting for food and jobs policy”.