The natural timber resources of Ghana are declining and there is a need to reverse or stop this. Tree plantations are being promoted to reduce pressure on the natural forests but more needs to be done. Bamboo, a non-timber forest product, is a good alternative to timber and bamboo plantations could help reduce pressure on the natural forests. A number of initiatives and academic studies have been conducted to encourage the domestic and commercial use of bamboo in Ghana and this research sought to add to these. Appropriate incentives for the development of bamboo plantations were explored and arrangements for the design of a bamboo incentive scheme for Ghana were proposed. Large-scale and small-scale plantation developers in the Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo regions were interviewed using structured questionnaires. Purposive sampling was used and a total of 41 interviews were conducted. Profitability of bamboo and high demand for bamboo were the top two desirable incentives amongst large-scale developers. Direct financial support and capacity building, and direct financial support and financial benefits from bamboo were the top two desirable incentives for small-scale developers in the Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo regions, respectively. Furthermore, it is likely that the use of incentives for the development of bamboo plantations would have favourable outcomes in Ghana. Under both the large-scale and small-scale categories, lack of legal backing and favourable state policies and lack of transparency in incentive acquisition processes emerged among the major potential challenges to the use of incentives for bamboo plantation development. The study recommends that the identified incentives should not be administered separately but combined to achieve the desired results.
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Vol. 21 • No. 2