September 13, 2019

In its bid to curb incessant crisis between farmers and headsmen as well as other community crisis which occur in several Member States, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has called on governments in member states to implement the regulations on livestock across the sub-region.

Dr. Fouad Mohammed representing the Director of Agriculture and Rural Development of the ECOWAS Commission noted that Pastoralism is an essential component of the West African state economy hence the need for it to be regulated for it to provide high-value at the same time reduces conflict and insecurity.

He made this remarks at the second day of a three days Parliamentary seminar on Transhumance and Intercommunity conflict ongoing in Monrovia Liberia.

He further recalled that there was a decision in 1998 and a regulation that was adopted in 2003 to regulate the transhumance activities across the West African sub-region.

Effective implementation of the regulation provides the organization with information and awareness-raising campaign, communications, training and education for transhumant livestock farmers and the various stakeholders involved in the transhumance in the zones of departure, transit and reception of transhumance herds, he said.

“It provides also, the setting up and revitalization of pastoral organisations at national level so that they contribute to better transhumance management, as well as to the prevention and management of conflicts related to transhumance”.

He continued that “the regulation is going to make things better for member states for them to be able to move freely within the region and also to curtail the spread of diseases, because once you depart from your country to another country, you will be monitored and checked that you are not taking any diseases across to infect your local host”.

The   need for compliance by pastoralists, transhumant’s, farmers and other components of rural society with ECOWAS Community regulations relating to transhumance between Member States cannot be over emphasized.

In an interview, Dr Fouad said most Member states have not implemented the regulations in their countries,  “Just last year, the Ministerial Council agreed to review the regulations, because of some member states who are saying that the regulations do not conform to the reality in their state.

Unfortunately most of the member states were not able to implement this regulation in their countries so we couldn’t even identify the areas to review this regulation” he stated.

And stressed the need for a regulation to be put in place to checkmate that there is free movement of integration which is a major objective of ECOWAS.

He stressed that “the regulation is put in place to checkmate that there is free movement of integration which is a major objective of ECOWAS. “The regulations are there, the implementation is slow, but we are getting there”, he added.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/