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MOPPS II launches project to address conflicts of farmer- Pastoralists

The second phase of an integrated regional pastoralism approach project aimed at regularising the movement of livestock, addressing potential conflicts between pastoralists and farmers and increasing value addition to livestock in the sub-region has been launched in Ghana.

Dubbed ‘Peaceful Cross-Border Pastoral Mobility and Social Stability in the Sahel (MOPSS II)’ would work with relevant stakeholders in the agriculture sector particularly those in agro-pastoral and livestock sector from 2023 to 2026.

The objective of the MOPSS II is to contribute to the social cohesion of communities in cross-border transhumance zones in the Sahel and the Gulf of Guinea through increased resilience to climatic and security shocks, peaceful livestock mobility, and an inclusive and integrated local economy.

It aims to strengthen and build on the achievements of the first phase of the MOPSS project which covered a period of three years from 2020 to 2022, and address multidimensional challenges faced by communities particul
arly farmers and livestock in Liptako-Gourma, Kenedougu and BBTG regions.

These cross-border areas are shared by seven countries Burkina Faso, Benin, Togo, Niger, Mali, Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire with the last two being integrated into the second phase of the project.

The MOPSS II project is being implemented by a Consortium led by the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) and supported by the Billital Maroobe Network (RBM), the Association for the Promotion of Livestock in the Sahel and Savanna (APESS), the Network of Farmers’ Organisations and Producers of West Africa (ROPPA), Hub Rural and CARE Denmark

It is being financed by the governments of Sweden, Switzerland and Denmark.

Speaking during the launch at Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region, Ms Barbara White Nkoala, the Country Director of SNV, said livestock had cultural and economic significance for the beneficiary countries and there was the need to work to address the challenges such as conflicts, climate change among others in the sector to inc
rease livestock production and reduce poverty.

She said the MOPSS II project aligned with the collective vision of fostering inclusion and cohesion, inclusive growth, improving livelihoods and ensuring food security for beneficiary communities in Ghana and called on the stakeholders to support the project

‘The MOPSS II project is not just a venture, but it is a sustainable development commitment for our livestock sector, it is a collaborative effort that brings together government officials, traditional authorities, security agencies and most importantly the farmers who form the backbone of Ghana’s agriculture landscape.

‘We are eager to work closely with the government of Ghana to support you to implement strategies not only to increase productivity but 7also enhance the resilience of our farmers,’ she said.

Mr Jonas Asare Berchie, the National Director of the Animal Production Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, noted that the activities of cross-border transhumance had not only created
numerous jobs for about 20 million people in West Africa but had increased revenue generation for African countries.

He, however, noted that the unregulated activities of transhumance continued to pose threats of conflicts and security concerns to many cross-border countries and underscored the need to work together to properly and sustainably control the movement of livestock to ensure peace.

Mr Stephen Yakubu, the Upper East Regional Minister, said in 2022 alone, over 200,000 livestock from neighbouring countries particularly Burkina Faso came into Ghana through the region and attributed the increase in movement of the livestock to climate change.

The Regional Minister who noted that the project would complement the government’s Gulf of Guinea Northern Regions Social Cohesion and the Ghana Productive Safety Net projects to reduce vulnerabilities to climate change called to produce hay as sustainable solutions to the transhumance movements.

Mr Imam Hanafi Sonde, President of Ghana National Association of
Cattle Farmers, noted that the livestock industry and value chain was huge to the development of the country and the project would help reduce insecurity to boost the sector.

Source: Ghana News Agency