Ranching: Agogo rejects ‘bringing back’ cattle to community

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The Asante Akim North District Assembly, has reiterated its earlier stand to kick against the construction of ranches for nomadic herdsmen and their cattle in the area.

It says any attempt to accept ranching in the district will face strong opposition from the people of Agogo and its environs.

Ranching system has been mooted as an alternative to the crisis after government set up the Cattle Ranching Committee to propose solutions.

Though neighbouring Sekyere Afram Plains District has been penned down for the ranching system, its counterpart, the Asante Akim North district has turned down the offer.

District Chief Executive, Francis Oti Boateng, who denied media reports linking the district to the ranching system, has assured farmers in the area of the assembly’s support in farming activities.

“I want to state in unequivocal terms that, the Assembly has not accepted or adopted ranching as a panacea for the Fulani [herdsmen] menace as being propagated and misinterpreted by a cross-section of the people,” Mr. Oti Boateng said in a release.

Mr. Oti Boateng insists any attempt to introduce the ranching system will be met with resistance from the people.

“Majority of the people thinks that ranching means bringing the cattle back to the District and any attempt to accept ranching in the District will face strong opposition from the people,” the statement said.

“As management, we hold the fort for the people of the District. We will therefore, continue to protect and promote our farmers and support them through the planting for food and jobs and the planting for export and rural development (PERD), to promote the collective interest of all the people in the District.,” the statement added.

According to Mr. Oti Boateng, he has a contract with the people of Agogo to protect them and their property as well as promote socio-economic well-being.

“As head of security in the District, it is my singular obligation not only to protect life and property but to provide the needed environment for the socio-economic transformation of the district.”

At least, over 300,000 cattle and their herdsmen have been evacuated from Agogo through the Operation Cowleg.

This means farmers who hitherto had abandoned farming for fear of being attacked by herdsmen, can now go to their farms and engage in their farming activities. Background

Activities of the Operation Cowleg team were reviewed after a JoyNews aired a Documentary titled, “Violent Shepherds,” a 7-month investigative piece which highlighted activities of nomadic herdsmen who unleashed terror on local farmers, destroying crops, as well as killing and raping innocent locals.

The investigative piece focused on Asante Akim North, Kwahu East, Kintampo and Berekum in Ashanti, Eastern and then Bono Ahafo regions, respectively.

The government responded swiftly by deploying a combined 175-strong police-military team to augment the work of an existing team that was already on the field working.

The team was also equipped with three helicopters to aid both ground and air surveillance.

It came at the time the Asante Akim North assembly had resolved not to spend assembly’s resources on operation Cowleg.

The assembly subsequently went ahead to make substantial budgetary allocations for Cowleg operations in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

 

Source: Nhyira FM

 

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