Tropenbos International Ghana has completed registration of beneficiary farmers of the Modified Taungya System (MTS) in the Offinso and Mampong Forest Districts of the Ashanti Region. The exercise which forms part of the Forestry Commission’s (FC) partnership arrangement with civil society groups in acquiring credible data towards the signing of benefit sharing agreements with farmers is supported by the National Forest Programme Facility of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
Over the past five months, TBI Ghana has undertaken the compilation of comprehensive data of over 8,000 individual farmers, most of whom own multiple farms. The registration covered 170 communities in 17 forest reserves in the two Forest Districts. The exercise was preceded by sessions to create awareness and sensitize farmer groups on their responsibilities, rights and benefit sharing arrangements under the Modified Taungya System.
Under the Modified Taungya System (MTS), farmers receive portions of degraded forestlands to grow food crops alongside planted timber tree species during the early years of plantation development. Farmers are entitled to 100% of the benefits from the food crops. However, benefits accruing from the sale of timber trees are shared as follows: Forestry Commission (40%), the farmers (40%), the traditional landowners (15%) and the forest-adjacent community (5%).
Currently, it is estimated that nearly 100,000 ha of MTS plantations have been established across the country through the involvement of over 100,000 rural farmers since the launch of the MTS in 2002.
TBI Ghana is of the opinion that when well executed, this registration exercise can help secure farmers’ renewed commitment in support of sustainable forest development in Ghana.