Source: Bedzra Boni
We have been ruminating about the recent clashes between Fulani herdsmen and communities around Ghana with great concern. This concern arises from the fact that Ghanaians killing each other in this manner is foreign to our culture and upbringing! The worse is that we do not see the current leadership in the country addressing the problem adequately! The government sending police officers and the military into the midst of the fighting for more killings of the citizenry is not the answer or a prudent thing to do!
The cause of the present problem is unrestricted cattle grazing on peoples lands and properties period! In Ghana and many developing countries not much has changed as to the way we do things handed over to us by our “illiterate” forefathers! Free roaming grazing cattle destroys farms and farm lands! They also pollute drinking sources of water in many communities across the country without justification! From a conservation viewpoint, open cattle grazing is simply incompatible with maintaining and restoring wildlife, native plants and natural resources.
We spoke with one Agricultural extension officer who reliably informed us that there are over 1500 agricultural extension officers working with the sector Ministry of Agriculture! Also there are over 30 Veterinarians and officers with doctorate degrees employed by the government in the same Ministry of agriculture! The government’s website www.ghana.gov.gh, lists Hon. Alhaji Mohammed Muniru as the Minister for Food and Agriculture! What solution has this minister proposed to the government to help solve this extant problem where cattle ranchers and Fulani’s are freely roaming with their cows grazing on peoples’ lands for free! The capital city of Ghana, Accra, is of no exception as one can find cattle grazing and stopping vehicular traffic as the cattle cross streets to graze! Open defecation by the animals in some parts of the city are tear-jerking! It appears to us that our elected officials do not see anything wrong with it!
Modern ways of cattle farming demands that one must have to know cattle feed management and the necessity of it. Modern cattle farms confines the cattle in ranches and bring the feeds to the animals or the cattle feed on restricted land on rotational basis! The government could help subsidize the initial cost of building ranches where the animals could be confined and fed! The cattle farmers could be taught ways of developing their own pastures! By doing this the animals could be better inspected by veterinary officers and well taken care of! This reorganization would not not only give Ghanaians a better meat and cattle products but also the freedom to live peacefully with each other!
Most cattle breeders in Ghana rely mostly on the sale of the animals for generating income for their business. Confining herds in ranches would generate enthusiasm and encourage entrepreneurship within the country for the production of cow milk and other milk products. This would be a huge extra income generating source for the cattle owners and entrepreneurs who would take advantage of the situation and invest in the sector!
How long will it take the government of Ghana to appreciate and adopt these simple solutions and save its own citizens from killing each other and destroying our communities?
President Mahama over to you, we urge you to do something immediately to resolve this problem once and for all and for the sake of posterity! The Police and other military officers are better suited to resolve other problems! On this cue , we are waiting for your next move on this issue! Thank you!