The Sissala West District Assembly is to consider a new by-law that will see cattle owners pay farmers in the area 700 Ghana cedis for each plant destroyed or have that cow sold to repay for the destroyed pant.
The new by-law is expected to be tabled before the assembly’s general meeting on August 9 for consideration and approval.
It is being pushed as part of measures by the assembly to protect the government’s Planting for Investment and Rural Development programme, which is encouraging farmers in the district to plant cashew.
Being the leader in maize production in the Upper West Region, the district has been a major attraction for herdsmen from within the district and neighboring Burkina Faso to graze causing destruction to crops.
As farmers in the district embrace cashew farming, the local authorities are promising to protect the investment of the farmers from nomadic herdsmen in the area with the proposed by-law.
According to the Assembly, the enthusiasm with which the farmers are accepting the new cashew farming, it suspects a seeming danger looming between farmers and the nomadic herdsmen.
District Chief Executive Bako Zakaria Mohammed said sanctions under the proposed by-law will be the selling of any cow found grazing a cashew plant or the owner will be made to pay 700 cedis to the farmer in place of each plant destroyed.
He said all members who were at the Agric sub-committee of the assembly have already approved the by-law and would be tabled before the entire assembly on August 9, 2018.
The assembly last year nursed about 31,800 cashew seedlings to be distributed to a targeted population of 350 farmers this year but could not meet the target as a result of high demand by farmers and some germination challenges.
He however assured farmers who may not get the seedlings this year to remain calm as distribution will continue the following year.
Farmers, who initially were to get between two and three acreages, are now demand for 10 acreages as they have already prepared their lands awaiting the seedlings.
Agric Extension Agent of the Sissala West District, Nindor Patrick, said farmers have been trained on how to transplant cashew right from measurement, digging and putting the plant into the soil.
A 47-year-old farmer, Ali Nasi, who is a beneficiary of the free cashew distribution programme, explained, he joined the cashew production after he visited somebody’s farm in a nearby community because he became interested.
By Yakubu Abdul-Gafur|3news.com|Ghana