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ARC and Tree Aid hold an agroforestry workshop in Ghana

February 17, 2012:

School children collecting tree seedlings to plant

ARC is collaborating with British charity Tree Aid to provide training in agroforestry and tree nursery management to faith groups in Ghana next week. The training is aimed at helping them fulfil their aim of planting millions of trees in the next seven years.

Attending the workshop will be members of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ghana and RELBONET - Religious Bodies Network on Climate Change - which includes 10 major mainline Protestant, Pentecostal and charismatic religious bodies and Ghana’s three major Muslim organisations.

Seven million trees in seven years

The Evangelical Presbyterian Church, which has 150,000 members in 133 districts of Ghana, has developed a seven-year action plan on the environment which includes the plan to plant seven million trees in Ghana. The tree-planting will be carried out in collaboration with RELBONET and the Forestry Commission.

This is the first time ARC has organised an agroforestry workshop and comes in response to requests for such training from our faith partners in Africa.

Tree Aid has been working with communities in Africa's drylands for about 15-20 years, mainly Burkino Faso and Mali but also in Northern Ghana. It helps communities maximise the benefits of trees - not just for food, fodder and firewood but also to improve incomes and generate new businesses.

The three-day workshop, which takes place in Tamale in the north of Ghana from Monday, is the first of three such workshops. As well as covering the technical aspects of setting up and running successful tree nurseries, it will also look at how to motivate community involvement and also how to implement income-generating schemes using trees.

Evergreen agriculture

Trees have an enormously important role to play in Africa, not just in improving individuals' lives but also in restoring the natural environment. Deforestation is a major problem, with trees being cut down for fuel or over-grazed by livestock.

Integrating trees into farming systems - what the World Agroforestry Institute calls 'evergreen agriculture' - has a huge role to play in improving soils and increasing crop yields, as well as in providing additional tree cover and food security.

Link here for Tree Aid's website.

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