A $25-million project to ensure the effective management and ultilisation of natural resources in northern Ghana has been launched at Mole in the West Gonja District in the Northern Region.
Its objectives include increasing the incomes of rural communities, improving food and nutrition security and strengthening environmental stewardship to help reduce poverty in the beneficiary areas.
It will also focus on value addition on shea, moringa, tamarind and ‘dawadawa’ which are natural plant products found in northern Ghana.
Other programmes include the promotion of climate-smart agricultural practices and gardening during off farming seasons and the formation of village savings and loans schemes to promote the culture of savings among the people.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is implementing the project, supported by a consortium of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) led by Winrock International.
Other partners are Technoserve, the Nature Conservation Research Centre and the Centre for Conflict Transformation and Peace Studies.
The project was jointly launched by the US Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Robert P. Jackson and the Northern Regional Minister, Mr Abdallah Abubakari.
Mr Jackson said the project would work with beneficiary communities to harness natural resources in the area for prosperity.
“I strongly believe that if we all work together, we can protect Ghana’s environment, natural resources and wealth in the long term,” he stated.
According to him, the project formed part of the US government’s Feed the Future initiative aimed at combating global hunger and improving food security, income and nutrition around the world.
Mr Abubakari commended the US government for its contributions towards poverty alleviation in northern Ghana and pledged the support of the Regional Coordinating Council towards the successful implementation of the project.
He called on traditional authorities and communities in the region to help preserve the natural resources in their various areas.
“As we call for massive investment in the north, let us also be mindful of the environment on which we depend and ensure that there is sustained development,” he stated.