Ghana Federation of Agricultural Produce advocates for cattle ranching legislature

The Ghana Federation of Agricultural Produce is advocating for an immediate cattle ranching legislature to regulate the activities of alien herdsmen in the country.

The farmer base organisation said such a legislature would reduce the conflicts between crop farmers and herdsmen and help check the influx of alien herdsmen into the country whose activities are causing destruction to farms, rural livelihood and food security.

The Ghana Federation of Agricultural Produce is made up of four farmer base organisations: Apex Farmers Organisation of Ghana, Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, Ghana National Association of Farmers and Fishermen and the Farmers Network of Ghana.

Briefing journalist in Tamale on the outcome of their research findings on the cattle ranching law in Ghana, President of the Organisation, Adam Nashiru, said the lack of a specific law, both at the national and district levels to regulate the activities of herdsmen has been the cause of cattle rustling, poisoning of grazing field with weedicides and infiltration of alien herdsmen into Ghana.

‘Today we have herdsmen all over the country. What they do is nefarious activities such as rape, arm robbery and seizure of arable land. As part of our appeal to government in our research findings all that we are asking for is that the law-making body put in place legislations, bills that will be promulgated in to laws to regulate cattle rearing in Ghana’, Mr Nashiru said.

He also said if such a law is passed it will give legal backing to ranching in the country, reduce the influx of alien herdsmen and provide easy cattle statistics in the country as it is being done in other West African countries such as Mali and Burkina Faso.

‘We have also gone beyond the boundaries of Ghana to study the activities of cattle herdsmen in neighboring countries like Burkina Faso and Mali and it will interest you to know that in these countries if you visit the agric officers they can easily tell you the number of cattle’s in their land, in these countries they have put in place laws to the advantage of cattle owners and crop farmers to regulate and monitor herdsmen.

‘In Burkina Faso cattle is not allowed to roam. They are put in ranches and given supplementary feeding, cattle is not also allowed to roam in the night like we witness in Ghana’. he added.

The Ghana Federation of Agricultural Produce also added that to ensure effective implementation, the law should clearly state the duties and responsibilities of land owners, cattle owners, and herdsmen and clearly state punishments for noncompliance to the law.

The study covered nine regions of the country and involved 486 respondents drawn from various categories such as crop farmers, herdsmen, cattle owners, traditional and religious leaders among others.

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