The Ghana Cattle Ranching Project Committee says it was about time Ghana formulated a robust law on ranching to quell clashes between nomadic herdsmen and farmers and also improve quality of animal protein on the market.
Chairman of the Ghana Cattle Ranching Project Committee, Dr Oppong Anane, notes that the setbacks that have been encountered in getting the law passed is due to poor stakeholder consultations.
He was speaking on current affairs programme, PM Express, on the Joy News channel on MultiTV, Tuesday.
The programme focused on a documentary, titled ‘Violent Sherperds’ that details the violent, and sometimes fatal, clashes between agrarian farmers and nomadic herdsmen in the Ashanti, Western and Eastern regions.
He said failure to secure a lasting solution to the conflicts between the herdsmen and the farmers over the years is due to an ineffective approach.
“There is a need to engage the stakeholders and create awareness among them so that there is some sort of understanding between them and find ways of satisfying both the trans-human herdsmen… and the farmers,” said Dr Anane.
Dr Anane’s Committee is tasked to 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.
“Cattle must be confined and this is what is done in so many countries.
“They confine the cattle, give them food and water and they perform very, very well. It is high time that we go the same way,” he said.
He explained that although the Committee was launched not too long ago, progress is being made to ensure cattle-keeping emerges as among the top businesses in the country.
A ranching law prescribes that areas which will be utilised for breeding wild animals in captivity or semi-captivity must be fenced. Animals, under such a law, will not be subject to the restrictions established for hunting and are declared to be property of the breeder.
Ranchers would also be required to obtain a licence from local authorities for their business. Ghana’s ranching law was first proposed in 2012 after frequent clashes between locals and foreign cattle-herdsmen in many communities of the country, and local authorities’ inability to contain livestock that stray onto the streets of various towns and villages. This raised conservation, security and safety concerns.