The Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (AgNRM) Project, which seeks to address issues of environment and natural resource management in Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions, has been launched.
The five-year project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) at 25 million dollars, would work to reduce poverty by addressing local environmental, agricultural, governance and natural resource management challenges in the three regions.
It is being implemented by Winrock International, TechnoServe, Nature Conservation Research Centre and the Centre for Conflict Transformation and Peace Studies.
Activities under the AgNRM Project include strengthening the shea, moringa, tamarind and dawadawa value chains, promoting climate-smart agriculture and gardening, and helping communities to form Village Savings and Loans Associations to pool savings and make investments to protect natural resources.
Mr Robert Jackson, the United States Ambassador to Ghana, said at the launch of the project at the Mole National Park, that: “This project will work with communities across northern Ghana to harness their natural resources and ensure sustainable long-term prosperity.”
Mr Jackson, therefore, urged public officials, traditional leaders, businesses, farmers and communities to band together to preserve the country’s precious resources.
He stated: “I strongly believe that if we all work together, we can protect Ghana’s environment, natural resources, and wealth for the long term.”
Mr Abdallah Abubakari, the Northern Regional Minister, called for attitudinal change to save the country’s natural resources to secure livelihoods for the people.
Mr Abubakari spoke against illegal logging, urging traditional leaders to work to protect the environment.
He commended the United States Government for its immense investments to address poverty as well as ensure to livelihood improvement, especially in the Northern part of the country.
Dr Julie Fischer, the Chief of Party of the AgNRM Project, said the Project would encourage the adoption of improved practices, technologies and behaviours, and governance structures to improve natural resource management, address drivers of environmental degradation and enhance rural livelihoods.
Mr David Kpelle, the Director of Operations, Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission, lauded the initiative, saying it was another milestone in ensuring stakeholders’ collaboration towards sustainable environmental management.
He gave the assurance that the Forestry Commission would collaborate with the implementers to ensure the success of the project.
The AgNRM Project is part of the Feed the Future Initiative, a United States government initiative that combats global hunger and improves food security, incomes and nutrition around the world.