The Chairman of the 2023 Green Ghana Project, Benito Owusu-Bio says the GH¢2.5 million given for this year’s activity is woefully inadequate.
According to Benito Owusu-Bio, the government will require the private sector’s help to meet the aim of planting 10 million trees.
Benito Owusu-Bio, speaking to Citi News after the launch of the 2023 Green Ghana Project, appealed for further support.
“As we speak, our approved budget by the Ministry of Finance for the Green Ghana this year is GH¢2.5 million. But we are not going to say we won’t do it, so we have started appealing for funds. Last year we got in excess of GH¢2 million so this year, we expect that with the pledges and commitments, we will get something to shore up.”
The government is targeting to plant some 10 million trees this year. The number represents a reduction in last year’s target of 20 million.
Launching this year’s Green Ghana Project, Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor said several factors accounted for the government’s failure to meet last year’s target.
“On the maiden edition of the Green Ghana Day, we targeted 5 million trees and with your support, over 7 million trees were planted. Last year, we raised our ambition and targeted at least 20 million trees, and again, with your support, 24 million trees were planted, bringing the total number of trees planted to over 30 million trees.
“So far, the field assessment report shows that, on average, we had a 72 percent survival rate last year as compared to the 81 percent survival rate in 2021. While adequate measures were put in place to ensure the survival of all trees planted, a number of external factors accounted for the survival rates including rainfall patterns, wildfires, and soil fertility.”
Celebrated on the theme, ‘Our Forests, Our Health,’ Mr Jinapor indicated the reduction in the number of trees to be planted in this year’s Green Ghana Day will help create ample time for the nurturing of the already planted trees to enhance the survival rate.
“The survival rate shows that we still have some 23 million trees to nurture. It is for this reason that this year, the government has decided to revise our target downwards to 10 million trees to give us some devoted resources and attention to the trees planted over the last two years while not wasting momentum on our quest to restore our degraded landscape.”