The Rural Community Forestry Project has submitted a very encouraging interim report. The initiative is managed by Our Lady of Mercy Community Services based in Accra, Ghana and aims to plant 1000 mango trees in community orchards and provide training to local people on planting and cultivation of the trees.
At the submission of the interim report, the project has already acquired land and suitable water sources for the orchards and has purchased and transported 500 mango seedlings to the sites. Firebelts have been established around the plantations and watchmen prevent animal or human damage to the orchard. The further 500 seedlings will be planted once the first half have been raised.
Furthermore, the project has succeeded in raising awareness of forest issues amongst the local population. Perception about deforestation and desertification as a result of the cutting down trees for firewood and charcoal is spreading and encouraging debate amongst community members. The project also reports that local people wish to plant more mango trees so as to have a further source of income whilst conserving the environment.