Sunday, March 21, 2010

agro-fuels in Ghana

In Ghana the Project Officer of General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU), Mr. Joseph Owusu Osei in an interview said that due to the energy crisis the world over, there is a shift to bioproduction, hence countries like Russia, the US and China have moved to Ghana to acquire large tracts of lands in the country.He said the activities of the multinational companies have left a lot to be desired.

A study conducted by Action Aid Ghana (AAG) and FoodSPAN in four regions in Ghana has revealed that the production of biofuel is fast affecting food crop farmers in the regions.The study indicated that its production was having adverse effect on food security, environment, human rights and in general, livelihoods of the affected communities.

The companies involved in the production of the biofuel import labour from outside the communities where production sites were located, and "there were drastic lay-offs as the project progressed from land preparation and planting stages."

Fertile arable lands suitable for crop production were being used for jatropha.It observed that the large scale production also involved the use of heavy machinery resulting in wanton destruction of forest, vegetative cover, biodiversity and economic trees including dawadawa and shea-tress production. In Bredi Camp, a farmer named Mageed bemoaned that his life and that of other community members have been adversely affected as they no longer have land to produce maize, cassava and yam, adding that they were neither consulted by the Omanhene of the area nor the biofuel company before they took over the land, and that they have not been compensated for the displacement.

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