Launch of the Ghana Cattle Ranching and Transhumance Committee (GCRTC): A new milestone for transhumance in West Africa

Launch of the Ghana Cattle Ranching and Transhumance Committee (GCRTC): A new milestone for transhumance in West Africa

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ROPPA is pleased to announce that the Ghana Cattle Ranching and Transhumance Committee (GCRTC) was successfully launched on April 4, 2023 in Accra. The event brought together various key stakeholders in the livestock and transhumance sector, including political authorities from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Network of Farmers’ and Producers’ Organizations of West Africa (ROPPA), the Farmer’s Organization Network of Ghana (FONG, a national platform member of ROPPA), CARE, SNV and many others.

Dr. King David AMOAH, ROPPA representative and FONG president, emphasized the importance of working with different stakeholders to ensure the success of GCRTC and to promote peaceful and sustainable transhumance in West Africa. Ms. Brigitte OUEDRAOGO, coordinator of PRODIATA, also expressed her hope that GCRTC could play a very crucial role in promoting a more peaceful transhumance that would benefit all actors and states.

The GCRTC aims to facilitate more efficient organization of transhumance in West Africa by complementing the already existing national transhumance committees. This initiative will contribute to establishing a solid foundation for supporting the implementation of public policies and measures, as well as for developing actions that promote peaceful regional and national transhumance in Ghana.

The establishment of GCRTC is an important milestone for the national economy of Ghana, as it will facilitate the movement of 80% of herds that seek water and pasture each year to coastal countries in the region. This activity is crucial for the national economy in departure countries and for the local economy in the places where transhumant herders stay.

The presentation and launch of GCRTC took place in two main stages: the preparation of the event and the management of the event itself. Participants discussed the challenges of pastoralism in West Africa and in Ghana, the dynamics of national transhumance committees, and were informed about the establishment of GCRTC and its role in the livestock sector.

We hope that GCRTC will be able to play a crucial role in promoting peaceful regional and national transhumance in West Africa. We thank all actors involved in the implementation of this initiative and are confident that it will bring significant benefits to all stakeholders.

West Africa is a major livestock breeding area in the African continent, and transhumance is a key element of this activity in many countries in the region. The ruminant herd is estimated at over 100 million heads of cattle in West Africa, and contributes on average to more than 5% of the region’s GDP. However, transhumance remains a complex issue in the region, due to the challenges related to coordinating crisis management systems and the complexity of livestock farming methods.

Ghana is a country where transhumance is practiced to adapt to the geographical dispersion and seasonality of food resources. However, it is also the cause of significant security problems, with conflicts between farmers and herders leading to loss of human life and property worth millions of cedis.

To better manage transhumance and support Ghana’s socio-economic development, the Ghana Cattle Ranching Committee was created in 2017. However, the current composition of this structure excludes important ministries such as the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralization, and National Security, which do not allow the GCRC to support transhumance activities at the local level. ROPPA and CARE have therefore worked together to accelerate the establishment of an active and sustainable National Transhumance Committee (CNT) in Ghana.