The Ghana National Association of Cattle Farmers (GNACF) has called on the government to allow the cattle owners or the Ghana Cattle Ranching Committee (GCRC) to manage the Wawase ranch in the Kwahu Afram Plains.
The Association expressed worry about the poor management of the Wawase ranch, which had resulted in the death and theft of most of the cattle in the ranch.
Imam Hanafi Sonde, the National Chairman, GNACF, made the call on Monday at a press briefing in Accra, on the challenges faced in the cattle rearing sector.
Imam Sonde had called on the government to order the Ranch Manager at Wawase Cattle Ranch to provide an official record of the number of animals received into the ranch and the mortality rate.
The Association also called for stakeholder engagement to agree on the best way forward in addressing issues in the sector.
The government launched the Ghana Cattle Ranching Project Committee to find lasting solutions to the perennial challenges between cattle farmers and crop farmers that had persisted over the years.
The Committee was to develop a well-tested strategy to improve domestic ranching in the country.
The Association commended the government for the formation of the project and the rehabilitation of the Wawase cattle ranch.
Imam Sonde said the Wawase ranch was rehabilitated to serve as a pilot project with a holding capacity of 6,000 animals but 2,000 animals were requested for piloting, which the Association described as outrageous.
“As a pilot project, we thought it was necessary for assessment and evaluation to be done before proceeding to the next level, but nothing was done due to poor management of the facility,” he added.
He said from July 2017 to January 2019, the Association lost 176 animals aside premature delivery by many animals due to poor supervision of the facility, calling on the government to investigate the activities of managers of the facility.
Mr. Theophilous Besah Avor, the General Secretary, Kwahu Afram Plains Cattle Farmers Association, said he sent 183 cattle in July 2018 and to date, the animals had reduced to 75, and managers of the facility cited theft and death as the cause of the reduction.
He said the government’s intention to renovate the Wawase ranch was of good interest, but the management of the facility was not encouraging, calling for an intervention to avoid any untoward situation.
Dr. Kwame Oppong Anane, the Chairman of the GCRC, admitted that things were not going well with the management of the facility and called for government’s intervention to resolve the issue before it got worse.
He refuted concerns that there were inadequate feed and water for the cattle, saying there were enough feed and medicines for the animals.
Meanwhile, Mr. James Yaw Asante, the Wawase Ranch Manager, has refuted the allegation made against the management of the facility.
He explained that the sole work of the ranch was to receive the animals from the cattle owners, and provide veterinary services and feeding as well as other services like the accommodation to the herdsmen, which the ranch was providing adequately.
On the issue of theft and death of the animals, Mr. Asante attributed the cause to unhealthy cattle, which were brought in by the cattle owners and the inability of some of the animals to acquaint themselves with the new environment.
He explained that the agreement was for the cattle owners to pay an amount of GH¢7.00 per animal to enable the herdsmen to cater for the animals, but some of the cattle owners had not paid up making it difficult to take good care of the cattle.
He said the ranch was being managed well and invited the public to visit the facility to assess their work.
By Kodjo Adams, GNA