A farmer in the Larabanga community of the West Gonja Municipality in the Savannah Region has been ordered to plant 100 shea seedlings or be jailed for destroying over 80 young and old shea trees in his farm. The farm which is located few meters away from the Mole National Park has both young and old shea trees destroyed through the use of chemicals by the farmer whose name has been given as Fuseini. Director of JackSally Development Organization, an NGO that has over the years fought the canker of tree cutting in the Savannah Region, Mr Jeremiah Seidu, who visited the farm to ascertain first-hand information quickly told the farmer to replace the trees immediately by planting 100 trees else he would be prosecuted. The farmer explained that, he destroyed or killed the shea trees to pave way for him to plant cashew which Mr Jeremiah Seidu in a sharp response told him that both cashew and shea trees can grow well on the same land. He used the opportunity to call on agriculture officers in the Damongo Municipality to intensify education to farmers to desist from felling down shea trees in the name of planting cashew since both have economic values for the country and can do well on the same farmland. The JackSally Development Organization and partners are also advocating for more shea trees/seedlings to be planted because of its value to women in the area and the country.
As part of efforts to get the farmer replace the shea trees destroyed, Mr Jeremiah Seidu has linked him to both the Bole Cocoa Research Center and A Rocha Ghana, to supply the farmer with free shea seedlings. The farmer will first meet Dr. Yaboah and his team at the Bole Cocoa Research Center for orientation on the importance of shea fruits, how to plant the seedlings and how to manage the seedlings till maturity and will be supervised by both institutions. Shea network, JackSally Development Organization and other partners are currently investigating other equally worrying situation where shea trees are being used for wood fuel or charcoal in the Bole area. Mr Jeremiah Seidu expressed gratitude to Shea Network for the support and USAID WABIC (West African Biodiversity and Climate Change) project for donating a car or to JackSally Development Organization.