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March 16, 2008

Ghana under serious desertification threat

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture In-Charge of Crops,Clement Eledi, has noted about 70 per cent of Ghana's land is under serious threat of desertification caused by soil erosion. Referring to statistics contained in a report by the Environmental Protection Agency, Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research of University of Ghana (ISSER) and the British Department for International Development, the Deputy Minister said unsustainable agriculture and land management practices are costing the country about two per cent of the Gross Domestic Product per annum.

The Environmental Specialist of the Africa Region of the World Bank, Matteo Marchisio, said Ghana has about 69 per cent of land degradation, which is higher than the average land degradation in Africa of 45 per cent.

The Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency, Jonathan Allotey, who gave an overview of efforts that has been made in promoting sustainable land management in Ghana since the 1900 to date, said no single institution could address the problem of land degradation. "By acting through a joint work programme, partners can leverage their own efforts and organize and amplify their actions according to respective comparative advantage," he said.

He said the collaborative approach to sustainable land management is people centered based on multi-partnership and responsibility encouraging participatory decision-making and management.

Ghana Broadcasting Corp.

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