Farmers in the country have called for the speedy passage of a Cattle Ranching Law to stop the destruction of their farms and properties by Fulani herdsmen.
According to them, the law, when passed by Parliament, will regulate the movement of animals, especially cattle in the country which will safeguard their farms.
The call comes in the wake of the recent activities of the Fulani herdsmen in the Brong Ahafo and Ashanti regions of Ghana, which have led to the destruction of farms, properties and lost of lives.
Mohammed Adam Nashiru, a member of the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, during discussions in a television programme on the topic, ‘Promulgation of a Cattle Ranching Law,’ said that their farms were being destroyed by the herdsmen with impunity.
“The Association has received several reports of farmers being killed from the length and breadth of the country by these herdsmen.
“In some case, females in these farming communities are raped by the herdsmen. We have also received reports on the confrontations between farmers and herdsmen which at times lead to people losing their lives in several parts of the country,” he said.
Adam Nashiru said the activities of the Fulani herdsmen have tremendous effect on food security.
“10 percent of Ghana’s national budget is supposed to go into the agric sector financing. If we spend this colossal amount of money in the sector and fail to address the herdsmen menace then our investment is wasted,” he stated.
Adam Nashiru said, “Farmers will not get land to farm and our arable land will also be destroyed. This will eventually lead to poverty, hunger, malnutrition and diseases.”
He said Ghana must learn from international best practices from neighbouring countries such as Burkina Faso and Mali, which had passed the Cattle Ranching Law to protect farmers and properties in their countries.
Dr. Anthony Nsoh Akunzule, a Deputy Director of Veterinary Services at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), said one of the effects of the free movement of cattle is the increase in trans-boundary diseases, explaining that the diseases afflicting the affected animals are passed on to the consumers, affecting the health conditions of the citizenry.
He supported the speedy passage of the cattle ranching since the farming system in the country is the mixed crop type.
The programme on cattle ranching law was organized by BUSAC Fund, in collaboration with DANIDA, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the European Union (EU).
By Cephas Larbi