Herdsmen-Farmers Clash: Did Afram Plains ranch help?


Chairman of the Cattle Ranching Committee, Dr. Kwame Oppong Anane

Government in 2018, set up a ranch in the Afram Plains to deal with the menace of herdsmen clashing with crop farmers especially during the dry season.

Imam Hanafi Sunde, a cattle farmer, who doubles as the President of the Ghana National Association of Cattle Farmer lauded government’s effort for establishing ranches to address the clashes between sedentary farmers and nomadic herdsmen. However, he indicated that the initiative has not met their expectations.

“I was the first person to send my cattle to the ranch. This tells that we are ever ready to support this initiative. Government is responding to our challenges but we think it has not responded to our level of expectation,” he said.

The clashes between herdsmen and crop farmers over the years have resulted in the killing of people on both sides. To ensure that no further deaths occur and guarantee the development of the cattle industry, government also established the Cattle Ranching Committee.

Chairman of the Committee, Dr. Kwame Oppong Anane says his outfit has been fairly successful in ensuring this.

“This project is a gradual process but the main issue the committee has tackled so far is converting existing fodder banks in the Afram plains. There were four that were established during former President J.A Kufuor’s era but they were never used therefore the idea of converting the fodder banks into ranches,” he stated.

In his defense, Dr. Anane intimated that the cattle farmers brought weaker animals. He added that the ranch is also faced with challenges of theft.

“At the moment we have about 1600 cattle but then as they are brought in, the farmers come back for some to sell. This is allowed because they pay money for maintenance. In the beginning, they were not sure what to expect so they brought in very weak animals that under normal circumstance, may die a few weeks later. However, because of the experts we have on the field, we were able to bring some of them to life,” he emphasised.

Meanwhile, Imam Sunde thinks otherwise, and is calling for a second look at the project.

“We cannot say it is all bad but we need to take a second look at that programme. Because if we’re not changing the animals to expand the benefits in this industry, but just keep them at an enclosed place, it will not mean anything. The aim of the government creating ranches is very good but what needs to be done there is creating demonstration points where all herders will come and see the best methods of breeding,” he urged.

Chairman of the Committee, Dr. Anane revealed that his outfit is working on charting a path to guide non-Ghanaian nomadic herdsmen when they come into the country.

“We also do get a lot cattle during the dry season coming from the Saharan countries. Cattle want water and feed so they come across the country, damage our waterbodies and go back.”

“It is something we cannot stop because it has gone on for centuries and there’s an ECOWAS protocol that Ghana is signatory and it allows it. However, the committee has come out with a comprehensive proposal to establish grazing reserves and corridors, corridors about 100ft wide,” he disclosed.



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