Lands Ministry trains queenmothers in bamboo, rattan plantation
The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources in collaboration with the Forest Plantation Development Fund is seeking the support of the queenmothers to expand the bamboo and rattan industry.
In this regard, the ministry has organised a 2-day capacity building workshop for queenmothers from Asanteman on business opportunities in the bamboo and rattan industry and the job creating avenues.
The objective was to get the traditional leaders engaged in the bamboo and rattan plantation to serve as job creation avenues and also to serve as alternative for timber.
Addressing the queenmothers, the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources in charge of Forests, Benito Owusu-Bio, said there were lots of business opportunities in the bamboo and rattan plantation particularly bamboo which he said, was fast replacing timber for wood products.
He said more than 1,000 wood products could be obtained from bamboo and encouraged the queenmothers to embrace the programme and to get fully involved in it.
He said aside from serving as an alternative for woods, bamboo would also be used to reclaim some of the lands that had been destroyed by illegal mining and to protect the environment.
According to him, the plantation would be piloted in the Ashanti Region and when successful, would be extended to other regions where the queenmothers would be supported to also establish bamboo and rattan plantations.
For the pilot, he said, the fund would support the queenmothers to plant 10 acres of bamboo.
Mr Owusu-Bio said some of the products that could be obtained from bamboo included furniture, plywood, toilet rolls, tooth pick, sanitary pad, bags and charcoal and utensils for construction works.
He said there was a huge potential for bamboo and rattan in the country and that when successful, it would reduce the pressure on the forest resources and preserve the little forest cover left in the country.
The Mampongheema, Nana Agyakoma Difie II, who chaired the occasion, was grateful to the government for involving them in the plantation of the bamboo and rattan project and on behalf of the queenmothers of Asanteman, pledged their full support for the successful implementation of the project.
She said from the presentation made on the uses of bamboo, the association had realised its importance and would as such lend its support to the project to create jobs for their people and also save the environment from destruction.
Giving the rationale of the project, the Technical Director of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Joseph Osiakwan, said over the years, queenmothers had been side lined in all activities of the ministry, particularly those on the promotion of bamboo and rattan.
However, he said for any programme to be successful, there was the need to involve women.
The programme was therefore designed to train and equip the queenmothers with the necessary skills in the plantation to enable them to lead the programme in their various communities.
The participants were drawn from the Asanteman traditional areas in the Bono, Bono East, Ahafo and Ashanti Regions.