Dr. Kwame Oppong Anane, chairman of the Ghana Cattle Ranching Committee, has indicated that, the Ghana Pastoral Development Policy and Strategy is envisioned to build a more efficient pastoral industry, leading to acceptable mechanisms for all stakeholders.
In his presentation at a stakeholders workshop on Ghana’s Pastoral Policy, on Wednesday 28th May, 2019, at Angel Hill Hotel in Accra, Dr. Anane, explained that, the policy will go a long way to contribute
to the improvement in crop production and the livelihoods of pastoral value chain actors and the economy as a whole.
Not only will it do that, but he added, it will also protect the environment and promote peaceful coexistence between herders and crop farmers.
The Pastoral Policy according to his presentation, underpinned the implementation strategies and also defines role and responsibilities of the various agencies as well as institutional framework to ensure a smooth implementation of the Policy.
Some of the key interventions the Policy sorts to provide include; Public awareness of Pastoralism, Entry and Departure of Pastoral Heads, Corridor for Pastoral Heads, Grazing Reserves, Pastoral Capacity Building, and Pastoral Support Fund.
Dr. Anane, intimated that, drafting the Ghana Pastoral Policy, is what will necessitate the development of the Cattle Ranching Law.
The chairman of the Food and Agriculture Committee in Parliament, and the MP for Nsuta-Kwamang-Beposo, Hon. Kwame Asafu-Adjei, bemoaned that, annual farmer-herder conflicts in the country over the years have negatively impacted on livelihoods of the affected communities.
Saying, apart from the loss of cattle, crop farms, destruction of water bodies, farm lands and even human lives, the development is a serious threat to peace and security of vulnerable farmers and the districts in which they occur.
He however noted that, “If we want to boost our economic gains, there is the need for a concerted efforts to end the menace. Because, the economic growth in Ghana’s livestock sector has remained low for years. And we need their cattle…. we need their goats, because all the beef and meet we eat everyday comes from them. So we cannot continue to fight with them.”
Hon. Asafu-Adjei, reiterated on a collaborative efforts to support the cause in order to put an end to the albatross threatening the peace and food security of our countries.
The Executive Director of Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG), Madam Victoria Adongo, underscored the necessity of the policy, which sorts to guide the activities of both herders and crop farmers.
She also indicated that, the Cattle Ranching Law, when passed, would outline clear mechanisms for breeding animals and other ways to ensure safety and protection of lives and property of both parties during the breeding season, as captured in the policy document in order to resolve the annual conflicts between both parties.
“This workshop is to solicit the views and feedback of participants, with the final report, after validation, to be submitted to the Minister of Agriculture to form the basis of the Cattle Ranching Law,” Madam Adongo emphasized.
Speaking to Mr. Daniel Banuoku, Deputy Executive Director of CIKOD, he also emphasized on the need to regulate the livestock sector as a country.
“Because when we regulate the it, we will be able to unlock the economic potentials that exist in that sector. As it stands now, Ghana as a country is not aware of how many herders are moving in and out of the country, and even when they come in, we don’t know who they are, where they are going, how long they are going to stay, and whether they are going to return to their country of origin
So it is important if we really want to understand and ensure that we control the conflicts and tensions that we witness annually….. that we set up systems through a policy document that will ensure that, trans-humans and pastoralists who come into this country have designated entry points.” He explained.
Mr. Daniel indicated that, there are systems to capture the number of animals that enters the country, and as well as systems to capture the number of human beings that are coming in with these animals.
This way, he said, the would be directed through appropriate corridor roots that have the capacity to carry the amount of feed and water that the animals will feed on in the area.
Adding that, “These corridors will then be linked to livestock markets where business transactions can happen,…… where our Municipal and District Assemblies can gain some financial freedom. If a livestock market is established along all of these corridors, our MDAs and MMDAs are going to make some serious financial gains out from the millions of animals that are exported and imported in and out of the country’s corridors. This will liberate them from Government’s common fund that sometimes delays before it gets to them.”
Imam Hanafi Sonde, the President of the Ghana National Association of Cattle Farmers, also in an interview lauded the government and PFAG for the great collaboration in developing a policy of this kind, which seeks to mitigate the annual conflicts and tensions between herdsmen and crop farmers, which eventually results in the loss of lives and property.
The workshop was organized by the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG), in collaboration with the Ghana National Association of Cattle Farmers, and supported by BUSAC fund.