- Management of Ghana’s modified taungya system
- Challenges and strategies for improvement
- AGROFORESTRY SYSTEMS
- Volume | Issue number
- 90 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Since 2001, Ghana has introduced a number of forest-based strategies to improve the livelihoods of forest communities, restore the country’s forest cover and address timber deficits. Among these strategies is the modified taungya system (MTS). Through a mix of qualitative methods, field observations, and a household survey among 146 MTS farmers from eight villages in the Tano Offin, Tain II and Yaya Forest Reserve areas in the high forest zone, this paper explores the challenges related to MTS management in Ghana. Results indicate that the lack of regular income from timber until tree harvesting, the delay in signing MTS agreements, the absence of a clear mechanism for sharing the 40 % timber benefits among individual farmers, restrictions on tree and crop species allowed under the MTS, and inadequate support and supervision from the implementing agency demotivate farmers to invest labour in farm maintenance. The study also reveals that the quality of partnership among the actors impacts on the performance of the scheme: a co-management arrangement exclusively between the Forestry Commission and MTS farmer groups generated poorer results in terms of the quality of the timber stands, income-generating potential and motivation of the actors involved. The continued commitment of both participating farmer groups and coordinating agencies is key to the performance of the MTS. Lastly, the prospects for future income from timber revenues determine to a large extent farmers’ commitment to tree maintenance in the MTS. Linking up with the concepts of interactive and landscape governance and partnerships, the authors make recommendations to overcome these challenges.
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