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Norwegian University of Life Sciences (2018)

Farmer–herder conflict and food security in Kwahu East District, Eastern Region, Ghana

Antwi, Samuel Owusu

Titre : Farmer–herder conflict and food security in Kwahu East District, Eastern Region, Ghana

Auteur : Antwi, Samuel Owusu

Université de soutenance : Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås

Grade : Master Thesis 2018

Résumé
The conflict between resource users is no new phenomenon in West Africa including Ghana. Debate and discussions about such conflict mostly centre on resource scarcity. This study examines the impact of farmer–herder conflict on food security in Ghana using Kwahu East District as a case study. A qualitative method was employed for data collection and respondents included farmers, herders, traditional rulers, security officers, local government officials, agriculture and veterinary officers. In addition to individual interviews, group interviews were carried out with farmers and herders. Also, nineteen household heads were interviewed to ascertain the impact of the conflict on household food security. Semi-structured questions were used to obtain the data from the respondents. Direct observation was also used to gain a better understanding of the issues. The study showed that the major cause of the conflict is competition over arable lands for farming and grazing, especially in the dry season. Other triggers of the conflict reported were crop destructions, stealing and killing of cattle, violence against women, pollution of water bodies, burning of grass, spraying weedicide and pesticide, farming close to grazing lands. The conflict has caused displacement of families and individuals, injuries, loss of lives and negatively affected agriculture production. The study revealed that affected farmers are unable to access their farms which have caused food shortage and hunger in such households. To seek to manage and resolve the conflict, measures used by the government include Operation Cow Leg, the creation of fodder banks to limit the movement of cattle and registration of cattle owners and their cattle. Government interventions to ensure food security have mainly involved support to crop farmers and farming communities and left out pastoralists, and as such appear one-sided. Based on the findings, the study recommends that a mediation committee should be set up to resolve conflicts at the individual level, registration of herders, cattle owners and cattle for easy identification and creating grazing reserves far from farmlands. The national government should also enact ranch law and ban open grazing method to avoid future occurrence of such conflict since the expulsion policy has proven futile in resolving farmer – herder conflict in the country.

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Page publiée le 23 mars 2019, mise à jour le 7 octobre 2019