ifoam'96 ifoam'96
Book of Abstracts
11th IFOAM Scientific Conference
11-15 August 1996, Copenhagen, Denmark
EcoWeb Denmark


Farm-based Agro-forestry - Lessons from Ghana Rural Reconst. Mov.W8

Owusu David Yaw

Ghana Rural Reconstruction Movement, Yensi Centre, P. 0. Box 14, Mampong Akuapim, Ghana.

The Ghana Rural Reconstruction Movement ( GhRRM ) an NGO,has been promoting agro-forestry technologies with farmers in the Akuapim North District of the Eastern Region of Ghana. The objective is to incorporate fast growing and mainly leguminous tree species e.g. (Leucaena leucocephala) into the local farming system in order to 1) improve crop yields without high cost extemal inputs such as chemical fertilizers and pesticides. 2) Prevent soil erosion and improve water retention in the soil. 3) Provide fodder for animals all the year round. 4) Overcome fuelwood shortages. 5) Provide construction poles for houses, storage bams and fencing. 6) Generally put a halt to the decline in the vegetation of the area. Several agro-forestry technologies such as hedgerow intercropping, contour farming, woodlots, intensive fodder garden, bio-intensive gardening and improved fallow systems have been introduced. Training sessions, demonstrations, and visits from local specialists whom we call »Farmer scholars« have been used to introduce the methods. Emphasis has also been put on the role of indigenous knowledge and the participation of farmers in the development and dissemination of agroforestry technologies. Farmer-networks and the production of training materials is very effective. Throughout the implementation process factors such as: land tenure system, labour requirement, credit availability to farmers, the type of agroforestry technology being introduced etc. are very critical to the success of the project. Our experience however, suggests that small scale farmers need simple technologies based primarily on their own internal resources. They need to be involved right from the beginning in redefining the proper methods and in adapting them to local needs and circumstances. By careful planning and by providing the right incentive, selected farmers can be used to disseminate information about agroforestry to their colleaques.

Owusu D.Y. ( 1990) Experiences with Agroforestry. ILEIA Newsletter Volume 6 No 2 pp 8-10.

Owusu D.Y. ( 1992 ) Farmers take time to support each other. ILEIA Newsletter Vol. 8 No. 2 pp 26.