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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.

Photo of YES - GHANA
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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.

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.

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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