Mango plantation in SADA zone destroyed by bush fire

Mango burnt

Bush fires have destroyed large numbers of mango plantations at Gushei in the Savelugu Municipality of the Northern Region.

The cultivation of mango plantation was introduced in the Region about 15 years ago by Integrated Tamale Food Company (ITFC) with the aim to introduce another cash crop alongside shea production in the area.

A visit by in the area revealed that most of the mango plantations have been destroyed by bush fires.

A former Assembly Member of Gushei, Adam Alhassan, attributed some of the bush fires to rodent hunters in the area.

He said fire belts were constructed around the trees but it could not prevent the spread of the fires especially during Harmattan.

Mr. Alhassan said before the introduction of the mango outgrowing program, they used to cultivate maize and groundnuts in the area and regretted that the mango plantation has not yielded positive production.

He blamed the ITFC for that.

He said the company initially provided them with water hoses around the roots of the trees to ensure that the trees had enough moisture but explained because of the poor yield the company removed all the water hoses.

They, therefore, depended on rainfall.

The Acting President of the Savanna Mango Outgrowers Association, Alhaji Zakaria Muhammad, also expressed his disappointment at the yields of the mango plantation in the Region.

He said the outgrowers were assured that an acre was to yield between four to six tons of mangoes  but lamented that about 70 percent of the farmers have never had even two tons per acre.

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Alhaji Muhammad said for the past years since they failed to achieve the production level, farmers have complained to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Savanna Accelerated Research Institute but they have not yet found any solution to the problems.

He said currently some of the surviving trees have been attacked by some insects and the trees are showing signs of dying off.

By Zakaria Abdul-Kadiri||Ghana