General News of Thursday, 27 July 2017
The Ministries of Food and Agriculture; and National Security have jointly inaugurated a committee on Fulani Herdsmen.
The idea was first conceived in March this year.
The 16-member committee is to help resolve intermittent conflicts and tensions between Ghanaian farmers and the Fulani, and also for the country to tap into the knowledge of the herdsmen in cattle rearing to increase meat production.
Speaking at the inauguration, Minister of Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto said the idea of forming a committee on Fulani herdsmen feeds into government’s Planting for Food and Jobs programme.
He added that the Nana Akufo-Addo government believes strongly in the Fulani and sees them as allies and not enemies as Ghanaians can benefit from their skill of animal rearing to boost the country’s meat production.
“We know we have a Fulani herdsmen problem and it is a shame because the Fulani are all over West Africa. They have demonstrated that they are the best livestock keepers in the whole of West Africa except that they are not permanent in their location. They are plying their trade across the valleys and hills of West Africa and that is creating a big problem but that problem can turn to our advantage…
“They have the skill which we can use to our advantage but unfortunately we are not doing that because of the conflict of space. They are coming from the Sahara down to the forest areas and so on, and then they get into conflict with the local settlers. But this government believes very strongly in the Fulani to contribute to the agricultural economy of this country. So we are setting up this committee to be able to tap into the knowledge of the Fulani in adding value to our livestock. They are not enemies, they are allies and that is how this government sees them…it is about time we settled the long-term conflict between us the locals and the Fulani herdsmen.”
Representing the interest of the herdsmen on the committee is the head of the Fulani community in Ghana, Imam Hanafi Sonde.
Meanwhile, Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, Minister of National security said the loss of lives and property as a result of conflict between farmers and the Fulani poses a challenge to agricultural development in the country.