By Daniel Agbesi Latsu
Kadjebi (O/R), Nov 20, GNA – Palm tree fellers in the Kadjebi District of the Oti Region have appealed to the government to support them with a subsidised modern tools to facilitate their work and keep them in business.
They said the provision of such modern machinery, which could uproot a palm tree within 5-7 minutes would keep them in business as the use of the age-old tool, the axe, is time consuming.
They said the axe took them between 20-25 minutes in uprooting one palm tree, which was time-consuming and waste of energy.
Mr Francis Quarshie Najombe, a 30-year-old palm tree feller told Ghana News Agency (GNA) that though palm tree felling was a lucrative venture, the over-reliance on the axe to uproot the tree was robbing them of more revenue as human needs today far outweighs the olden days.
Mr. Najombe, who started palm tree felling at age 13, said currently he charged GHC15 per tree, while others charged GHC20 per tree.
He said if the weather permits; he could fell 10 palm trees per day, but on odd days five.
He said though it was a good job, most youth are leaving work, because of the old device being used.
Mr Njombe, who has been in the business for the past 17 years, said the designing of a new tool to replace the axe they presently used for the work could bring more people to the work.
“Pastor” Kwame, another palm tree feller, told the GNA in an interview that climate change is affecting their work nowadays as soil texture at some places does not permit felling easily.
He said instead of using between 15-20 minutes to uproot a tree, it takes one close to 40 minutes to do so because of the soil texture there.
Mr Kwame said some of them are contemplating quitting the work because of the use of age-old tools, but if the government could assist them with new tools, then they would stay.
He said lack of association is also breaking their front as others decide to charge less, but if they have an association, they would charge a uniform fee and pledged to help form an association.