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UE smallholder farmers unhappy over elephants invading their farms

Stakeholders At Review Meeting
Stakeholders At Review Meeting

Smallholder farmers in the Nabdam and Talensi Districts of  the Upper East Region, has appealed to state actors to help them confront the challenges of elephants’ destruction of their farms during the harvesting seasons.

The joint stakeholders review meeting organized by the Maaltaaba Peasant Women Farmers’ Cooperative (MAPEWFAC), was aimed at reviewing the “ Empowering Rural Peasant Women Farmers to act through access to local & decentralized Policies, Programmes on Rural Agriculture and Livelihood (The EMPOWER Project) being implemented by MAPEWFAC, with funding support from STAR Ghana  Foundation.

The farmers who  belong to the Maaltaaba Peasant Women Farmers’ Cooperative (MAPEWFAC), made the appeal at joint project review meeting with stakeholders held in Bolganga on Saturday.

Speaking at the forum, one of the farmers who doubled as the overseer of traditional lands from Sakoti in the Nabdam District, Nahu Yamg , explained that the elephants often migrate from Burkina Faso through the Wildlife Corridors closer to the two District  at the time farmers crop is getting ready for harvesting.

He stated that the situation was becoming an alarming, compelling many smallholder farmer to sleep on their farms as watchmen to ensure that their farmers are not destroyed by the elephants. 

Another smallholder farmer, Ms  Priscilla Noah, indicated that  already the region was facing climate change leading to food insecurity and stressed that  the invasion of the elephants on their farmlands to destroy their crop will compound the farmers plight the more.

The MAPEWFAC also complained bitterly about the high cost of tractor services to crop their land during farming season and appealed to the Department of Food and Agriculture to come to their aid.

The participants further expressed worry about how some nomadic Fulani headsmen destroy sharenut trees  in the area which they noted  is  one of the sources of their livelihoods.   

Responding to the issues raised by the farmers, the Nabdam District Director of Agriculture, Mr   Rashid Imoro,     assured the farmers that plans were ongoing to establish beehives in the area to help curb the elephants from destroying farms in the area.

On tractor services  , the District Director also gave the assurance to address the challenge and  entreated the women to come together to help lessen the cost of the tractor services.

The Executive Director of MAPEWFAC, Ms Lydia Miyella, explained that the purpose of the joint stakeholder meeting was to evaluate the project to see if it  is yielding the desired results for the beneficiaries

She indicated that she was now happy that the beneficiaries of the project who are mainly single mothers, teenage girls, PWDs and their households can now access government interventions to help improve upon their livelihoods.

A development Consultant, Mr. Vincent Subbey , who facilitated  the forum educated  the stakeholders on how to engage in effective advocacy campaigns to make positive changes in their livelihoods. 

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