Ghana to allocate 150,000 hectares for grazing reserves to curb herd conflicts

GHANA – The government of Ghana is set to convert 150,000 hectares of land into grazing reserves in a bid to provide ample feed for cattle, whose grazing and transhumance has led to conflicts between the herders and farmers.

According to reports by Ghanaian Times, the facilities estimated to cost GHc25 million, are going to have forage that could sustain the feeding of about 520,000 cattle over a four-month period.

This implies that once the reserves have their targeted forage, they have four months to prepare the next stock.

Areas to be covered include the Fanteakwa North, Sekyere Afram Plains, Sekyere Kumawu and Adaklu districts, as well as Kintampo North Municipality.

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In Ghana, as in many West African countries, pastoralism is at the heart of many conflicts as it is not regulated and the nomads roam miles and miles in search of pasture.

According to a report by OECD published last July, Ghana is one of the African countries most affected by the herd conflicts.

The report revealed that 36,000 violent events were recorded in North and West Africa between January 1997 and April 2020, in which 206 pastoral groups were involved.

In neighbouring Nigeria where cattle rustling has led to both public and private players rack brains on the sustainable solution to the issue, the Federal Government recently appointed Cownexxion, an international dairy farming consultant to kick-start the National Livestock Transformation Plan.

Focus of the 3-year project will be on feed production, development of knowledge and skills and the transformation of management in a bid to curb the escalating menace.

It will first be undertaken in the states of Nasarawa, Plateau, Gombe and Adamawa, with pilot farms established in each of the locations. The farms will act as a training centre for farmers and extension workers.

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Meanwhile, a Nigerian firm, Rabelat Limited has partnered with Instituto Daniel Franco, a Brazilian Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) to set up a centre for animal husbandry in Kwara State.

The collaboration is aimed to serve the same purpose as that of the NLTP of resolving herdsmen and farmers clashes in parts of the country.

The centre, which is expected to have an abattoir, international cattle market and entrepreneurial training institution, will create 50,000 jobs for youth and others in the country.

Further to that, Livestock247, Nigeria’s 1st online livestock platform utilized to undertake buying and selling of live livestock, processed meat and other livestock management services, introduced a cashless rural livestock market.

LivestockXpress was launched in partnership with Zenith Bank Plc, aimed to offer a safe and secure platform to undertake livestock trading.

The introduction of the new service follows the upsurge in criminal activities in Northern Nigeria, where livestock markets have become soft spots for insurgents, rural bandits, and kidnappers.

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