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Government advised to privatize cattle ranching to enhance lasting solution

A former entomologist with the Center for Scientific and Industrial Research, CSIR Nana Ohene Mensah Abampa has tasked the government to as matter of urgency privatize the Cattle Ranching Policy to be implemented as the right step to finding a lasting solution to ending the clash between the crop farmers and the nomadic herdsmen.

Speaking on Rite FM’s Agric Forum last Saturday, the entomologist who recounted the several incidents of clashes reported across the country every year between farmers and cattle rearers, particularly the Fulani herdsmen regretted that the situation was getting out of hand and leading to destruction of life and properties and life so urgent steps are needed to curb the menace.

He recommended however that government should not depend on state resources to implement a policy aimed at rectifying the long existing challenge between local farmers and nomads since it stands to fail if that approach is adopted.

“Government should not attempt to depend on State coffers to implement this policy because it will fail and this is therefore the need for the government to employ a private entity to do it while the cattle farmers send their animals there to graze and pay for it.

This he said will rather generate income for the country because they will also pay tax to the government and also create large number of employment to the unemployed in the community and Ghana as a whole.

Nana Ohene Mensah further urged the government to organize a forum that will dialogue to deliberate on issues concerning this cattle ranching policy for proper implementation to enhance lasting solution to the problem at hand.

In the issue of awareness creation, he also appealed to the government to use the media as a tool to propagate all the issues to both the cattle and the crop farmer which will make the spreading of information easy and faster.

He noted that the government need practical and agriculture incline people to handle this issue perfectly.

Ghana’s ranching law was first proposed in 2012 after frequent clashes between locals and foreign cattle-herdsmen in many communities of the country.

The Ghana Cattle Ranching Project Committee in September last year said it is about time a robust law on ranching is formulated.

The Committee believes that will quell clashes between nomadic herdsmen and farmers and also improve quality of animal protein on the market.

The Committee is tasked with finding a lasting solution to the perennial challenges of herdsmen-crop farmers’ conflict that has persisted for many years.

The project, under the auspices of the National Security Ministry, is also expected to develop well-tested strategies to improve domestic ranching in the country.

Membership of the committee is drawn from stakeholder groups including the Ministries of Food and Agriculture, Interior, Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Inner City and Zongo Development and National Security and professionals in the cattle industry and the Ghana National Association of Cattle Farmers.

President Akufo-Addo said while efforts are on the way to rehabilitate the ranches, efforts are also being intensified to find an ECOWAS-wide solution to an issue, “which goes beyond the boundaries of our country, and is affecting the entire West African region.”

He warned that government will not allow miscreants to terrorise Ghanaians adding, the law will take its course.

By Austin Ofori Addo/ritefmonline.org/austinofori.addo@gmail.com

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