The Wenchi Municipality in the Bono Region is noted for the annual influx of cattle, particularly during the dry season, in search of greener pasture.
They come from the neighbouring Sahelian regions, led by their herdsmen in search of a favourable place to feed them.
In the process, they destroy both food and cash crop in addition to streams to the annoyance of local farmers.
The situation sometimes leads to clashes between the farmers and the herdsmen and creates a security threat in the areas they pasture.
Last week, 13 farmers from the Buasu/Kwame Pinsang Electoral Area in the Wenchi Municipality were arrested by the police for allegedly killing 30 cattles in the area.
The farmers allegedly took the action when they accused the herdsmen of allowing their cattle to destroy their farm produce.
According to the Chairman of Justice and Security subcommittee of the Wenchi Municipal Assembly who is also the Assembly member for Koase, Acheampong Badu, the herdsmen invaded those communities with their cattle and destroyed maize, plantain and other crops.
"We had distress calls from Buasu/ Kwame Pinsang Electoral Area that herds of cattle had invaded their farms destroying crops".
Mr Badu explained that about 30 cattle were slaughtered in the area, adding that the police have commenced preliminary investigation into the matter.
According to him, two of the herdsmen have also been arrested by the police to assist in the investigations.
Affected farmers’ concerns
Some of the affected farmers told the Daily Graphic that they had become helpless since it was impossible for them to stop the herds of cattle from destroying their farms.
One of them, Kofi Antwi, said it was regrettable that "after taking loans to invest in our farms, these herdsmen come and destroy our crops such as maize, plantain, beans and cashew farms, among others".
He stated that for the past four years, the invasion of cattle had become a headache to farmers in the area.
"Acres of farm produce in the area had been destroyed within days. Our toil and sweat have been in vain and we are left with nothing to take care of our children," Mr Antwi lamented.
Another affected farmer, Akua Frimpomaa, added that the cattle were not only destroying food and cash crops but also streams which served as their source of drinking water.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of Wenchi, Alexander Damoah, explained that the invasion of cattle to the area seasonally had become a security concern.
He said even though he had vowed not to allow cattle herdsmen to enter the municipality, the cattle herdsmen had been able to do so through unapproved routes in the bush.
"I have held meetings with my counterparts in the neighbouring districts and municipalities to make sure that cattle were not allowed to enter the Wenchi municipality from their areas,’’ he said.
"Why on earth should people rearing cattle use farm produce of farmers, who had contracted loans for their farming ventures, to feed their cattle," Mr Damoah stated.
According to him, the farmers who were arrested had now been released on bail while the issue was still pending.
"Even though it was very difficult to prevent the herdsmen from entering the municipality with their cattle, everything was being done to prevent them from doing so," he added.
Mr Damoah called for calm and called on stakeholders to assist the Wenchi Municipal Security Council (MUSEC) to stop the situation.
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