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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Multinationals take over lands in Ghana

Farmers there complain lands which they cultivated in time past is no more
Farmers there complain lands which they cultivated in time past is no more

Farmers in Northern Ghana say big multinational organisations are depriving them of their livelihoods.

The farmers say the firms, receiving the backing of chiefs in the affected areas, have acquired large swathes of their farmlands, displacing several villages.

Ghana’s drive to increase the production of biofuel is receiving massive support from these multinational organisations from mainly the Americas and Europe.

A biofuel committee set up by the Energy Commission in 2005 recommended that the country substitutes 20 percent of the national gas oil consumption and 30 percent of the national kerosene consumption with jetropha oil by 2015.

Experts say biofuel, obtained from crops such as jetropha and sugarcane is safer than fossil fuels which emit dangerous gases into the environment.

This suggests the influx of these firms into the country to cultivate jetropha and sugarcane for biofuel is a laudable idea.

But the concerns of these subsistence farmers cannot be shoved off as they say they are being denied their source of livelihood.

One such affected farmer, Mamoud Adam told Joy News his 20-acre land on which he grew maize and rice for his family has been taken, a situation he said has left him pondering over how to survive.

He said compensation packages promised them were given to a few affected farmers.

Responding to the issues however, the Director of the Energy Commission, Dr Ofosu Ahenkorah, said a renewable energy, which is yet to be passed by Parliament must bring closure to the issue.

Story by Fiifi Koomson/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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