The Mankranso Forestry command of the Forestry Commission has embarked on destruction of illegal farms in the Desiri forest reserves located in the Asutifi and Ahafo Ano North districts in Ashanti region, according to the District Manager Godwin Agyemang.
The move was triggered after the forest management discovered large farmers in the reserve without approval of the forestry commission.
Range Manager, Mr Palmer Aikins Amponsah in an interview with Ultimate FM’s Isaac Bediako said, the exercise saw destruction of eight hectors of cultivated farms food crops.
The exercise which was executed with the support of the military and the commission’s guards will continue next week Wednesday 19 September 2018, to free the forest reserve from encroaches.
A visit to the forest reserve by the media witnessed activities of the encroaches destructing Cedrela and teak trees invested by government in its maturity stage for harvest seriously being destroyed by the farmers.
Checks revealed over one thousand trees have been felled, burnt and killed with chemicals by this illegal farmers.
The Range manager disclosed that “the plantations if allowed for few years will mature for harvest to bring a lot of revenue to the State but illegal farmers are clearing the plantations for their self-interest. On the 12th of September staff of the forestry commission and over 60 Youth in afforestation (YEA) members from Tepa, Mehame, Dadesoaba and Siencheim communities went to the farms to destruction crops on the illegal farmers” he said.
He noted “crops destroyed includes cocoa, maize, cocoyam, and Yam interestingly whilst destroying we also planted trees seedlings to replanted the lost trees due to activities of the farmers. The trees planted are varieties of both exotic and indigenous species”.
Range Manager Mr Palmer Aikins Amponsah again revealed that illegal farmers arrested in the Desiri forest reserves have been arraigned before court for prosecution.
“I will like to use this opportunity to advise farmers farming illegal farmers farming illegally in to cease their lawless activities or face the thoroughness of the law” he pleaded.