Talensi Farmer-Managed Natural Regeneration Project - Social Return on Investment
The Talensi district in Northeastern Ghana is located within a semi-arid zone that has been experiencing erratic rainfall and receding forest cover, along with loss of soil fertility and indigenous biodiversity. This has been accompanied by high population growth that has contributed to decreasing household land. The key aim of this project was to encourage local people to adopt a range of Natural Resource Management techniques to improve household resilience and local livelihoods by restoring indigenous trees to community-managed farmland and forests. Key amongst these was Farmer-Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR), which entails re-growing the stumps of trees harvested to obtain fuelwood, charcoal and construction poles, all of which destroy the trees. Through FMNR trees were regrown on farmer’s crop and pastoral fields, as well as in community-managed forests. FMNR has helped reverse deterioration of soil fertility and the natural resource base, thereby contributing to greater household resilience and improved livelihoods, through increased income levels and allowing more households to access food throughout the year. Additional project interventions included promoting the use of sustainable agricultural practices, such as using crop residues as fertilizer and fodder (bulk composting; field mulching); livestock management; building local capacity through provision of training to farmers; setting up and training local volunteers as fire-fighters for bushfire control; developing activities that provide supplementary income (honey production); training local people to adopt fuel-efficient wood stoves; and developing local legislation to support sound environment management. A total of nine communities in Talensi participated in the project, involving some 12,000 people in 1472 households. Environmental problems affecting these households, which the project aimed to address, include the disappearance of wildlife and bush land, decline in soil fertility and crop yield, increased insect pest attacks, fluctuation in climatic conditions leading to fields being too wet or too dry for good crop growth increased wind speeds, scarcity of drinking water and perennial bush fires. According to WordVision, the implementer, FMNR has made a significant contribution to household wellbeing and livelihood security in this semi-arid region in Ghana.
Source of funding
US$323,816 (Australian Agency for International Development and World Vision Australia)