Cattle farmers call for route demarcation and grazing reserves
The Ghana National Association of Cattle Farmers (GNACAF) says the solution to the incessant crop farmers and herdsmen clash is the demarcation of cattle routes and grazing reserves.
Imam Hanafi Sonde, National Chairman of GNACAF said government must demarcate cattle routes and grazing reserves to provide a lasting solution to these two farming groups.
Iman Sonde was speaking at a press conference to express the Association’s view on the recent clashes between the herdsman, crop farmers and the residents of Agogo and its environs, in Accra.
He said the conflict between these two farming groups was a serious threat to human and food security of the country and therefore, the association thinks it requires the maximum attention of government and concerned stakeholders to solve the problem once and for all.
He said the creation of grazing reserves would ensure dedicated areas for cattle and prevent the destruction of farm crops.
He condemned the shoot-to-kill approach adopted by the security operatives tasked to deal with the herdsmen menace and suggested that the state could take custody of straying cattle of disobedient members.
He said the killing of cattle was not the solution because the cattle are being controlled by the herdsmen.
The National Chairman also suggested that personnel involved in the exercise should apprehend the cattle and subsequently prosecute the herdsmen, adding that, “In a situation where cattle owners refuse to come forward, the cattle can become state property.”
“We cannot continue losing lives in this nation,” he said.
He said even though the association did not support those herdsmen, who defied the court order to move out of the area, he was not sure that the court’s directive indicated that the cattle should be shot.
He said the Executive and the entire membership condemns in no uncertain terms the attacks on the security personnel at Agogo and called for investigations into the incident to uncover the culprits to face the law.
Iman Sonde said recently, government through the Ministries of Agriculture and National Security, initiated the Ghana Cattle Ranching Project Committee of which he was a member, to find out a holistic solution to the problem between the herdsmen and the crop farmers and also enhance the development of the sector.
He said the Cattle sector has contributed significantly to the economy of the country but the image of the sector continues to be tarnished with conflicts.
On the court order, he said the Association had accepted the ruling and had visited the area to inform its members to comply with the order by moving their animals out.