By Albert Futukpor, GNA
Tamale, Aug. 31, GNA - The Ghana National Association of Cattle Farmers (GNACAF) has called for the creation of grazing reserves for cattle to help address the conflict between cattle herdsmen and crop farmers.
Imam Hanafi Sonde, National Chairman of GNACAF, who made the call at a stakeholders’ conference in Tamale on farmer-Fulani pastoralist relationships in northern Ghana, said the creation of grazing reserves would ensure dedicated areas for cattle to graze and prevent the destruction of farm crops.
The conference, a follow up to an earlier one held at Mole in the Northern Region, was to help create a conducive atmosphere for dialogue amongst policy makers, farmers and pastoralists to reduce conflicts and promote peaceful coexistence by including Fulani pastoralists in agricultural development trajectories.
The event was organized by the United States Agency for International Development through the Feed the Future’s Northern Ghana Governance Activity, in partnership with the Cocoon project and Catholic Relief Services.
It brought together about 150 participants from across various state and non-state institutions including ministries, departments and agencies, non-governmental and civil society organizations and representatives of farmer groups and pastoralists.
Imam Sonde also called for the gradual adoption of a modern system of intensive cattle breeding saying it was the only solution to the numerous challenges confronting the cattle sector in the country.
Impacts of pastoralist activities including overgrazing by cattle resulting in depletion of the forest cover and subsequent loss of soil fertility, the destruction of crop farms and economic trees as well as shea and dawadawa have been a source of conflict between crop farmers and Fulani herdsmen.
Mr Solomon Boar, Deputy Northern Regional Minister, said cattle herdsmen rendered essential services in ensuring the availability of meat in the country adding that there is the need for collaboration amongst all stakeholders to address the concerns that erupted between cattle herdsmen and crop farmers in the country.
Mr William Peter Andoh, Superintendent of Immigration at the Northern Regional Office of Ghana Immigration Service, said it was not wise to deport Fulanis from the country saying some of them were indeed Ghanaians.
Superintendent Tandoh said all was being done to ensure that Fulanis, who contravened the laws of the country, were appropriately prosecuted.