THE Forestry Services Division (FSD) of the Forestry Commission has registered 300 youth in the Ahafo Ano North District for engagement on the National Forest Plantation Development Programme (NFPDP).
The youth would be engaged in plantation projects on some degraded forests in the district from which they would earn some income.
The District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr David Addai Amankwah, made this known at the first ordinary meeting of the district assembly at Tepa.
President John Evans Atta Mills in January, this year, launched the NDPDP at Abofour in the Offinso Municipality with an invitation to all Ghanaians to join in the efforts at halting the degradation of the country’s forests.
The NFPDP, which is being executed by the Forestry Commission in collaboration with selected district assemblies, was conceived by Alhaji Collins Dauda (MP), the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, and subsequently adopted by Cabinet.
Targeted at regenerating over 400,000 hectares of degraded reserves and off-reserve areas, NFPDP will focus essentially at developing a sustainable forest resource base to accelerate the national greening campaign and rejuvenate rural economies through the provision of more than 51,000 jobs in 170 districts across the country by 2011 from an initial 30,000 jobs in 100 districts this year.
Mr Amankwaah told the meeting that the assembly would fully support the programme to enable it to achieve its objectives. On revenue generation, the DCE said it had been a challenge to the assembly and called for concerted measures to address the situation.
He said without improved local revenue generation, the assembly could not do much in respect of initiating development projects. Mr Amankwaah stated that the assembly intended to spend GH¢105,833.14, representing 19.68 per cent of its share of the district assemblies’ common fund on education this year.
The DCE stressed the importance the assembly attached to education and urged parents to enrol their children in school. On the farmers’ registration exercise, he said the exercise received low patronage in 2009.
Mr Amankwaah said as a result, the exercise had been extended to this year and that by the close of March, 6,071 farmers comprising 4,371 males and 1,700 females had been registered.
He urged the assembly members to advise their electorate who are farmers to register since there were a lot of benefits to be derived from it.
Mr Amankwaah said in spite of some challenges facing the National Health Insurance Scheme, the district had been able to register 63,336 people with the scheme. He added that the scheme was to intensify its educational programme to hook more people onto it.
The DCE charged officials of the Information Services Department in the district to intensify their campaign to educate the people on the government’s policies and programmes to enable them to appreciate the strides the government was making to advance the development of the nation.