Kwahu Afram Plains cattle farmers association has called on Government through the District Assembly to give them few weeks to mobilise to relocate their animals as directed by the Minister for National Security.
According to the over 250 cattle farmers, the government five days ultimatum is not only hash but practically impossible to replicate their cattle and family to the government-approved place near the Volta Lake in the Afram Plans North.
The government through the District Chief Executive, George Ofori issued the five days ultimatum for the evacuation from the Kwahu Afram Plains.
The farmers stated that they intercepted information which the National Security Minister, Kan Dapaah has ordered the DCE, Mr George Ofori to enforce the evacuation of all cattle in the area to folder banks (a place prepared by Government to keep all cattle in the region and Ghana as a whole.
The security information they added further warned that any farmer who refuses to comply or send their cattle to prepared place by the government shall have their animals killed by the Military personnel, who would be deployed to the area, soon after the five day period elapsed.
Mr.Amevor, Chairman (m) and other executives
Prior to that, they added the Military are patrolled the entire region to ensure that, all cattle are sent to the folder banks or properly catered for and any farmer who allows his animals to go contrary to these orders and allowed their cattle on free grazing would have their cattle killed.
This, the Cattle Farmers Association called on the government to as a matter of urgency to engage them in findings a lasting and peaceful solution in respect of their cattle grazing and the relocation to the Folder Banks.
The registered farmers with over 250 said a number of issues have raised after an earlier directive which was carried on a pilot project basis with their Cattle soon after the introduction of folder banks by the government for safekeeping.
Nevertheless, General Secretary of the Association, Mr. Amevor Besah at a Press Briefing disclosed that, they presented a total of one hundred and eighty-three cattle for the pilot project (183 cattle) when the government asked them to send their animals to folder banks and after a few months, they realized that seventy-five cattle (75) out of the number sent could not be traced, when they visited the site during the piloting. When they asked the managers of the banks, the only explanation given to them was that, part of those 75 untraceable cattle are dead and others too missing with no assurance of compensation or replacement of their missing cattle and this has caused a serious threat to the cattle owners in releasing their large numbers of the animals to the management of the folder banks for keep, since they can not guarantee the safety of their cattle.
Also, location sighted for the project can only cater for ten thousand cattle, meanwhile the association has about sixty to seventy thousand Cattle (60,000-70,000 cattle) this means that there’s going to be overcrowding in the banks, which would not help the health condition of the animals.
They also complained about monthly charges of Gh.7 cedis on each animal, meaning, every cattle owner is expected to multiply Gh7 cedis by the total number of cattle he has and pay to the managers at the folder bank,
The farmers think the charges are too costly to bear and whenever a farmer sell any animal, they are also expected to pay ten per cent of female and twenty per cent on male cow out of the proceeds made to the government.
They believed this arrangement would not help since there are no other means of making revenue to pay those monthly charges, so, therefore, pleading with the government to review those decisions.
Mr Amevor said, what makes the situation worse is that, during the pilot period, some Military personnel were sent to patrol the area in making sure there is peace but this military personnel were shooting to killed their animals whenever they see them grazing along the roadside and send the killed animals away.
They tried to find out the whereabouts of their dead animals, all they were told is that the government has asked them to bring any cattle they will kill to be used in preparing of food to feed students in government’s School feeding Program.
The cattle farmers also find this decision of the government as cheating and unfair.
They are therefore calling on government through the Minister for Defense and National Security Minister for Agriculture to meet the farmers to dialogue and get the best measures in keeping those cattle.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Felix Nyaaba