E. Asare-Bediako, A. A. Addo-Quaye, J. P. Tetteh & P. Ansu-Gyeabour
The Government of Ghana introduced afforestation project with the aim of re-stocking depleted forest resources and to create employment in order to reduce rural poverty. This study was therefore conducted to assess the socio-economic effects of the afforestation project on the beneficiary farmers in Dormaa Ahenkro District of the Brong-Ahafo Region. Questionnaires were randomly administered to 80 farmers in the Diabaa and Kofisua communities in the Dormaa Ahenkro district who had adopted the afforestation project. Majority of the farmers (89.8%) were illiterates and aged between 20 and over 50 years, comprising 45 males and 35 females. Credit in the form of cash only, inputs only or both cash and inputs were distributed to the beneficiary farmers. Over 85.3% of the farmers indicated satisfaction for the support received. The project has improved both the economic and social life of over 80% of the beneficiary farmers. It has provided employment (98.7%), education opportunities (87.0%) healthcare access (79.2%) to the farmers. The project has also provided food (100%) and income (98.7%) to the farmers. As a result, they are able to pay their children’s school fees, pay electricity and water bills, buy tools and equipment and also hire labourers for their farming activities. Delay in supplying inputs such as seedlings (87.2%), small plot sizes (76.9%) and inadequate financial assistance (30.8%) were identified as the major constraints to the progress of the project. It is recommended that the Forestry Services Division should supply inputs on time to the farmers and to expand the project to cover other depleted forest reserves.