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Regional News of Monday, 26 March 2018

Source: Innocent Appiah

Kintampo North MCE, MP collaborate to develop cattle ranching sites

Michael Sarkodie Baffoe, Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) and Kwasi Etu-Bonde, Member of Parliament of Kintampo North have expressed their commitment to end the perennial clashes between nomadic Fulani herdsmen and crop farmers in the Municipality.

The two said plans are in place to turn the recurrent menace into an economic venture, where the problem would be turned into economic benefits, tamed-rotational grazing parks and fodder banks are to be developed in Kintampo North Municipality for the cattle farmers as pertains in Canada.

This, they opined, would minimized if not eliminate cattle grazing on crop farmers’ fields in the Municipality thereby boost commercial activities between the two groups which has positive impact for the local economy.

The plan was revealed on their return from Alberta, Canada, upon invitation by the Alberta State Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to learn some lessons on how best Alberta has managed their cattle rearing situation and turned it into a profitable economic venture.

In his declaration the MCE noted, “In a bid to finding lasting solutions to the perennial clashes between Nomadic Fulani herdsmen and the crop farmers, which has adverse effect on the Municipal budget and for that matter on our development, the two of us have been looking at various avenues to minimize if not eliminate the situation entirely"

“Consistent with President Nana Addo Dankwah Akuffo Addo’s vision of tackling head-on the clashes between crop farmers and cattle farmers, we teamed up and as a result, had series of meetings in Ghana, and several correspondences with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Alberta, Canada, that resulted in our invitation by the Alberta Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry for the facts finding and program partnership mission in Canada,” Mr. Baffoe emphasized.

The MP, Mr. Etu-Bonde, who doubles as a member of the Parliamentary-Select Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs, said there is absolutely no reason why precious human life should be lost because of animal grazing, emphasizing that Ghana needs both the herdsmen and farmers to stay alive and prosper, so that the agriculture sector will thrive in leaps and bounds.

He stressed “It must be emphasized that the farmers and herdsmen are both major stakeholders in the agriculture sector and it is regrettable that the two groups have to go head-to-head in clashes that often leads to deaths of human and animals as well as the destruction of valuable crops in its wake."

“If we are to benefit optimally from the two stakeholders, we must learn from other countries such as Canada and other North American countries who have managed the situation effectively,” he maintained.

The MCE added that the project was also consistent with the vision of President Akuffo Addo’s One District One Factory, since there were plans as part of the project, to develop the cattle industry and extend it into the production of milk, cheese and beef for local and international consumption.