Agroforestry Project Helping Improve Life in Ghana

May 15, 2012 - News Release

Using agroforestry to enhance livelihoods in resource-poor communities is the goal of a six-year-old collaboration by scientists from the University of Guelph and Ghana, backed by a $3-million Tier 1 grant from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

The project partners hope to improve income generation and food security, and strengthen Ghana’s vision of becoming West Africa’s centre of excellence in agroforestry.

Researchers from U of G and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana, will discuss the project during a public meeting May 22, 7 p.m., in Rozanski Hall, Room 102.

Much of Ghana is plagued by poverty, chronic food insecurity, and poor health and nutrition. “The increasing degradation of the natural resource base relied upon by rural communities is a major contributor to a persistently low quality of life,” said Naresh Thevathasan, an adjunct professor in the School of Environmental Sciences (SES) and manager of U of G agroforestry research. He oversees the project with SES professor Andy Gordon.

Agroforestry land-use technologies (farming crops along with trees and/or animals) were identified in the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy among the most important aspects of environmentally sustainable cropping practices.

The U of G team has helped train students of agriculture and natural resources management in Ghana, established research projects, and supported sustainable farming practices to improve rural economies and community health in partner villages.

Speakers at the public meeting will discuss the project and promote further dialogue on international development, Thevathasan said.

The Ghana project marked the first time U of G had received Tier 1 funding. Tier 1 projects are managed by CIDA’s universities and colleges program and promote major development and institution-building projects.

Prof. Andy Gordon
School of Environmental Sciences
519-824-4120, Ext. 52415

Dr. Naresh Thevathasan
School of Environmental Sciences
519-824-4120, Ext. 52565

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or, or Shiona Mackenzie, Ext. 56982, or

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