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Using appropriate cattle ranching practices to facilitate peaceful coexistence between nomadic herdsmen and farmers in Agogo Community.

Staff, Experience (in training people on peaceful conflict resolutions and coexistence), and managerial resources.

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*Please Upload User Experience Map (as attachment) and any additional insights gathered from Beneficiary Feedback in this field

Why does the target community define this problem as urgent and/or a priority? How is the idea leveraging and empowering community assets to help create an environment for success? (1000 characters)

Both crop farmers (indigenes) and the cattle herdsmen (foreigners), as well as the owners of the cattle, want to co-exist peacefully. They consider the simmering tensions between the herdsmen and the crop farmers as ticking time-bomb which will one day explode beyond imagination. This has seriously affected the economic activities in the community because most people do not want to operate in communities where there is a constant source of conflict. Both groups of farmers keep losing out on the returns of their labour. One of the attempts by the community to resolve the situation is for the chiefs (local authorities) to hold landowners who give their land to the herdsmen for their cattle to graze on responsible if they destroy a crop farm. This idea builds on the efforts that have already been tried. The resolution of the conflict will be done by representatives of the community. The establishment of the market in the community will help improve the economic activities of the land.

How does the idea fit within the larger ecosystem that surrounds it? Urgent needs are usually a symptom of a larger issue that rests within multiple interrelated symptoms - share what you know about the context surrounding the problem you are aiming to solve. (500 characters)

The conflicts usually leave behind damages which are sometimes irreparable. Communities would want to have peace as much as possible. However, a major concern among policy-makers inability to structure society in a manner to contain such conflicts once they occur. There are usually knee-jerk reactions to solving problems which are not sustainable. For example, the operation 'cowleg' which sought to kill any cattle wondering on crop farms led to more confrontations instead.

How does the idea affect or change the fundamental nature of the larger ecosystem that surrounds it (as described above) in a new and/or far-reaching way? (500 characters)

The free range practices by the nomadic herdsmen have impacted negatively on the livelihoods of rural communities and threatened the peace of communities. The idea seeks to shift the free-range practices into a more systematized way of both crop farming and cattle ranching. This will support local government authorities to provide the needed support services required by these farmers.

What will be different within the target community as a result of implementing the idea? What is the scope and scale of that difference? How long will it take to see that difference and how will it be sustained beyond BridgeBuilder support? (500 characters)

The project will ensure a peaceful co-existence facilitated by the community members. The economy of the community will significantly improve affecting livelihoods as a result of the creation of the market where the farmers will have a good return for their crops and cattle. About 300 households will be affected by the project which will take about 2 to 3 years to see a difference. A management committee from the community will be responsible for the sustainability of the project.

How has the idea evolved or responded to your user research during the Beneficiary Feedback Phase and any further insights provided if you participated in the Expert Feedback Phase? (1000 characters)

The Beneficiary Feedback Phase reaffirmed the overall idea and provided insightful ideas on how to structure the idea based on the needs of both the crop farmers and the nomadic herdsmen. For example, herdmen iterated that they had meetings with the Ministry of Interior where they suggested the zoning of the land. They believe the zoning of the land will support the development of other needed infrastructure and the provision of relevant support services to help improve on their farming practices. The herdsmen, for example, indicated the growing of hay and the provision of dams.
They also indicated that some traders take advantage of the lack of an established market to cheat on the prices. The establishment of a market was not part of the original idea, but as a suggestion, it will facilitate the improvement of the economy in the community thereby facilitating prosperity.

What are the key steps for implementation in the next 1-3 years? (You can attach a timeline or GANTT chart in place of a written plan, if desired.) (1000 characters)

The key implementation activities include:
Year 1:
1. Stakeholder engagement
2. Reconciliation process
3. Land acquisition and zoning

Year 2:
4. Building infrastructure
5. Movement and relocation of farmers and herdsmen
6. The provision of support services

Year 3:
7. The establishment of a market for the farmers

Describe the individual or team that will implement this idea (if a partnership, please explain breakdown of roles and responsibilities for each entity). (Feel free to share an organizational chart or visual description of your team). (500 characters)

Mr. Emmanuel Edudzie is the Executive Director of YES-Ghana, He will assume overall responsibility for the project.
Mr. Eric Saforo and Ms. Obaa Akua Konadu will be responsible for stakeholder engagement and working with the community to establish the reconciliation committee.
Mr. Emmanuel Nomafo (Business Development Manager) will be responsible for the implementation of the project activities.

What aspects of the idea would potential BridgeBuilder funds primarily support? (500 characters)

The BridgeBuilder funds will support the reconciliation process, setting up the infrastructure after the zoning of land, movement and relocation of farms and animals, and the establishment of the market.

In preparation for our Expert Feedback Phase: What are three unanswered questions or challenges that you could use support on in your project? These questions will be answered directly by experts matched specifically to your idea and needs.

More ideas on how periphery activities can create employment for more unemployed young people.

Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

We want to facilitate a lasting peaceful coexistence between nomadic herdsmen and farmers, and to establish an environmentally friendly practice of cattle rearing in communities affected by conflicts between herdsmen and farmers especially Agogo, a town in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. These conflicts have been rampant due to the destruction of farms caused by cattle during grazing. First of all, we will facilitate a dialogue on reconciliation between the affected parties. We will set up a reconciliation committee to heal the wounds of the past and prevent further conflict between the concerned parties. In each camp, we will select representatives from the leaders, men, women, the youth and children to train as peace ambassadors. The ambassadors will work within their spheres of influence to nib simmering conflict situations in the bud.

Since about 60% of the livestock herded by the herdsmen belong to some of the locals in the community we will work with all the stakeholders to suggest a communal way of appropriately rearing the livestock and managed as a co-operative. We will work with the local authorities to acquire and designate a piece of land in the community that is conducive to the ranching and does not affect the farms. Everyone who has a herd will be required to register with the ranch and have access to fodder and water. The co-operative will appoint managers from the different camps to manage the ranch. Through the cooperative will work to find the appropriate market for their produce. We will establish a cross beneficial system where produce/leftovers from either the farm or the ranch will benefit each other.

Institutionalization of the activities of the herdsmen will create an opportunity to practice acceptable grazing or cattle-rearing practices that are friendly to the environment. There will be an opportunity for more job creation for the unemployed in the community. Farmers will have their peace to continue with their farming practices.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

- The primary beneficiaries will be the farmers in the community. Safety of their crops from attack by the livestock and reduction of tension between the farmers and the nomadic herdsmen.
- The nomadic herdsmen will have designated and fenced area where they are assured of fodder and water for their livestock. They will also receive services from Agric extension officers.
- Peace will prevail in the community where these two factions will coexist. There will be no need for the youth to be involved in conflicts
- The good agricultural practices will support the sustainability of our environment, and improved crop yield for the people who live in peace.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

Nomadic herdsmen are usually stereotyped and seen as ‘foreigners’. Even though they are usually hired by some members of the community to herd their livestock, they are not widely accepted as part of the community creating tension and conflict. These factors coupled with the search for fodder and water for their livestock make the herdsmen community very a mobile population. There are very few projects and interventions targeting nomadic herdsmen due to their mobile nature. Our idea seeks to set up structures that will support their acceptance in the communities they find themselves. We seek to resolve the factors that necessitate their mobility which include searching for fodder and water in other places when the existing land their livestock graze on is depleted.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Initial Design: I am exploring the idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

The Youth Empowerment Synergy (YES-Ghana) is an ECOSOC-accredited Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) which is at the forefront of youth development policy, practice and research in Ghana.
http://www.yesghana.org

Expertise in sector

  • 7+ years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

Our experience has shown that whenever there is a conflict, the youth get enlisted in the conflict to fight. Those who are worse affected are women and children. As a youth organization, we are passionate about promoting peace and ensuring prosperity for young people.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

The nomadic herdsmen practise free-range cattle rearing. Due to limited grassland for the cattle, they are usually compelled to herd their cattle into farms to graze and destroy the crops. The grazing in the farms by the cattle affects crop yield, causes food insecurity for the farmers and reduction in expected income. It also takes a while to return a land into its vegetative state when the herdsmen vacate a place. This practice has created a conflict between the herdsmen and the farmers in the communities where the cattle have grazed on farms. The herdsmen use firearms to resist attempts to drive them out from the communities where they operate, resulting in bloody clashes. The government of Ghana established ‘Operation Cow Leg’ (a joint military and police) taskforce to flush-out over 45,000 cattle from the Agogo Township. The operation resulted in the death of taskforce members, cattle and some of the herdsmen.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

We will work with a number of institutions to support the project idea.
1. We will work with the local government authorities and the Ministry of Interior in the process of reconciliation and grant indemnity and residential status for the nomadic herdsmen.
2. We will work with local authorities (chiefs and community leaders) to identify designated land for the ranch and recruit members of the reconciliation committee.
3. We will work with the Ministry of Agriculture and Agric Extension Officers to facilitate good husbandry.
4. We will work with the Ghana Cattle Farmers Association to find a market for the livestock.

Our Experience:
YES-Ghana was part of a project that sought to train 23,700 youth to take advantage of the booming construction sector. YES-Ghana was responsible for the mobilization of all the participants. To effectively mobilise the youth, we worked alongside local authorities and other partners. This made our efforts very successful.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

70% of the economic output of Agogo is farming. It has vast acres of arable land and pasture. This will make it easy to find land for the ranching when we negotiate with the communities. Agogo also has a vast majority of young people who can be employed on the ranch and in the farms.

Geographic Focus

Agogo, a community in the Ashanti Region of Ghana.
https://bit.ly/2kKrN8F

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

36 months

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No

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Photo of Nicole Ballou
Team

Hi YES - GHANA !

It is great to see another organisation from Ghana in the Challenge. I've learned so much from reading your project proposal, about the needs of your community and the work you're doing to address those needs. Our focus is similar, in working with a community which is imbedded in a natural-resources industry (fishing, not farming), while also leveraging youth, and their development, to make meaningful change.

Best of luck with the rest of the Challenge, I look forward to hearing more about your project as we progress through the next phases together.

Warmly,
Nicole

Photo of YES - GHANA null
Team

Thank you Nicole.
Best luck to you too. Your idea is incredible.

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