We need more grazing reserves

Grazing by cattle has caused serious confrontations in the country of late. In some cases even deaths and injuries are recorded.

Such confrontations have always occurred between nomadic Fulani herdsmen and local community members.

This is because, apart from the cattle of the Fulanis destroying farms, the herdsmen quarrel with Ghanaians who complain about the destruction of their farms and rape their women, including wives. They are also accused of raping girls.

It is, therefore, good news that more than 150,000 hectares of landhave been identified for the development of grazing reserves to address challenges with cattle production and mobility in the country.

The land is said to be scattered at various locations in districts, including the Fanteakwa North, Sekyere Afram Plains, Sekyere Kumawu and Adaklu, as well as Kintampo North Municipality.

It is a pity that it is only in West Africa that cattle are mostly left to graze anywhere, with a limited number of rearers building ranches to keep the animals at bay.

In Ghana, the situation has worsened because the nomadic Fulani herdsmen continue to bring in additional animals.

These unrestrained herdsmen head to anywhere they perceive to provide them the pastures they need to feed their animals.

Today, cattle are found anywhere, including places where they are unexpected because herdsmen are taking them there.

It in the light of this that the grazing reserve projects must be prioritised for its various benefits.

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, which is a good period.

Obviously the cattle and their owners who would have the opportunity to use the reserves hopefully would be saved the worries associated with the feeding of their animals and the hussle the animals themselves have to go through to have what to graze on.

The Ghanaian Times knows that there are more than 520,000 cattle in the country, so the question is what would the rest and their owners or herdsmen do?

How much would those who would get the opportunity pay for getting their animals fed in the comfortable spaces?

Would the Fulani herdsmen get the opportunity to bring their cattle to the reserves?

This paper lauds the initiative but believes that the problems associated with grazing by cattle are not yet over due to dwindling of vegetation in the country.

The grazing reserves idea should prompt the MoFA to look beyond the eight districts and establish more of the reserves across the country.

Also, with climate change and already grazing problems of our neighbours in the Sahel region, herdsmen from the region would continue to invade our land in which case the clashes between herdsmen and communities and other related negatives would persist.

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