The non-enforcement of bye-laws on stray animals in the Kassena-Nankana West District in the Upper East Region has been identified as one of the major threats to vegetable production in the area.
The people, particularly the youth, depend on vegetable production as their primary source of livelihood.
For instance, 75 per cent of the population in Anaanore community in the district depend on the production of vegetables such as tomato, pepper, onions for their livelihoods.
This was contained in a research conducted by Anaanore Dry Season Farmers Association and sponsored by the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund and its development partners of DANIDA, the European Union and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and made known at a dissemination forum in Navrongo in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality in the Upper Region.
The research , conducted in December, 2017, was dubbed “Advocacy for the enactment of stray animal bye-laws and its implementation.”
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According to the research, the farmers were deeply worried over the situation of the stray animals which continued to destroy their vegetable farms, thus making their investments go waste and also putting the survival of their families at risk.
“I struggle day and night to water my small vegetable farm to take care of my children, but as it stands now, I am worried about what to do. The most painful aspect of it is, after going through all these tough times and challenges people will leave their animals to come and feed on my crops,” a farmer, lamented.
It was also discovered that although the assembly had enacted a by-law on stray animals during raining seasons, the penalty of GHc 25.00 was not deterrent enough.
As a result of such challenges, most of the young farmers have abandoned their farms and now drifting down south to engage in menial jobs.
The secretary of the association, Mr Maxwell Akunyire, explained that the research was structured to identify areas for advocacy on the enactment and enforcement of bye-laws on stray animals in the Anaanore community.
He said it was necessary that duty bearers had knowledge about the plight of vegetable farmers and that the study would be used to champion the cause of the farmers to seek for the constitution of a committee of experts to study the content of the research to enable them to modify the existing bye-laws on stray animals in the area.
“When this is done, it will resolve the sinking and dwindling interest of vegetable farmers and further reduce the migration of the active working population from the Anaanore community to the south for menial jobs,” Mr Akunyire added.
The Monitor of the BUSAC Fund, Mr Vincent Subbey, also observed that the phenomenon of stray animals causing destruction on farmlands was not only limited to the Kassena-Nankana West District but the entire region of the north.