Fulani Crisis Fulani herdsmen not our "enemies" but "allies," Agric minister says

Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto believes they have skills in cattle rearing Ghana can tap into, although he admits their conduct are sometimes disruptive.

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The Akufo-Addo administration sees the Nomadic Fulani herdsmen as "allies" and not "enemies," the Minister of Food and Agriculture has said.

Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto believes they have skills in cattle rearing Ghana can tap into, although he admits their conduct are sometimes disruptive.

The minister made the comments at the inauguration of a 16-member committee to help resolve intermittent conflicts and tensions between Ghanaian farmers and the Fulanis.

play Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Food and Agriculture Minister

 

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The herdsmen have been accused by local farmers in the Ashanti and Eastern Region of destroying their farms.

This has often led to conflicts between them and the locals especially in Asante Agogo, Ashanti Region, leading to the loss of lives and properties.

“We know we have a Fulani herdsmen problem and it is a shame because the Fulani are all over West Africa. They have demonstrated that they are the best livestock keepers in the whole of West Africa except that they are not permanent in their location," Dr Akoto said.

He continued: "They are plying their trade across the valleys and hills of West Africa and that is creating a big problem but that problem can turn to our advantage…

“They have the skill which we can use to our advantage but unfortunately we are not doing that because of the conflict of space."

"They are coming from the Sahara down to the forest areas and so on, and then they get into conflict with the local settlers.

"But this government believes very strongly in the Fulani to contribute to the agricultural economy of this country."

READ MORE:  Fulani community wants probe into why members were disenfranchised

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Dr Akoto said the committee is to tap into the knowledge of the herdsmen in adding value to nation's livestock.

He declared that government does not see them as enemies, saying that it was time to settle the long-term dispute between them and the local communities who are highly suspicious of them.

"So we are setting up this committee to be able to tap into the knowledge of the Fulani in adding value to our livestock," he said.

"They are not enemies, they are allies and that is how this government sees them…it is about time we settled the long-term conflict between us the locals and the Fulani herdsmen.”

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