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Neem Trees in Yilo, Lower Manya Krobo at Risk of Disappearing

The neem tree, known for its medicinal properties and significant role during the COVID-19 outbreak, is facing the risk of extinction in the Krobo areas of the Eastern region of Ghana. This threat arises from changing climate patterns and irresponsible human activities.

According to Ghana News Agency, Mr. Kojo Odum Eduful, President of the Traditional Medicines Practitioners Association, highlighted the neem tree’s importance during the COVID-19 pandemic, stating that its leaves were used for boosting the immune system and treating various ailments. Despite its extensive cultivation across Africa, there is growing concern in the Eastern region, particularly in Yilo and Lower Manya Krobo areas. Mr. Tetteh Moses Appenahier, a resident of Ayirmersu, admitted to cutting down numerous neem trees for charcoal and firewood, which has become a lucrative business due to the higher profitability of neem tree charcoal.

Mr. Solomon Teye Kwame, a farmer, acknowledged the tree’s medicinal value but was unaware of its broader impact on the ecosystem. The tree, introduced to Africa by Indians in the 19th century, is also used to produce neem oil, cake, and extract, which have significant economic value. Mr. Francis Nii Clottey, Head of Yilo Krobo Agriculture Extension, emphasized the tree’s economic importance and the need for conservation efforts. He noted that the neem tree industry is thriving in certain regions of Ghana, particularly in the production of neem oil for export.

Mr. Clottey called for the Environmental Protection Agency to educate the public on the economic benefits of the neem tree and discourage its destructive exploitation. He highlighted the tree’s role in combating erosion and mitigating climate change, stressing the environmental impact of tree cutting along the Tema-Akosombo Road. The depletion of Ghana’s forest trees has been a significant concern, with an estimated 6.6 million hectares lost due to human activities.

Source: GNA