Sampson Osew Larbi
Sampson Osew Larbi of Ghana has been encouraging resource-poor farmers to farm by adopting the slash and mulch farming system (SMS) instead of the slash and burn method - all in an effort to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and to create better atmospheric conditions for farming in the Twifu rural communities. Between 1987 and 1990, he organized 800 farmers, including 120 women, to plant 400,000 cocoa and 20,000 oil palm seedlings using SMS. Between 1994 and 1998, he nursed 200,000 eucalyptus, MPTS and NFT seedlings and supplied them to 250 farmers to plant through SMS without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, thus creating a balanced ecosystem capable of supporting sustainable agricultural production. In an effort to alleviate poverty, environmental education and training is given to women and the landless to plant vegetables. For 1999, preparations are underway to produce 500,000 eucalyptus, casuarina and NFT seedlings through flying and private nurseries, which will be planted by 600 farmers. Thanks to Mr. Larbi's efforts, plantations of eucalyptus, MPTS and NFT are being prepared for fuel and poles for use by local farmers in order to reduce pressure on virgin forests. His activities have helped conserve soils, control desertification, reduce deforestation and helped protect fauna and flora.