Recent anecdotal reports of violence among livestock farmers and local residents in Ghana over grazing rights and unauthorized location of cattle ranches especially at Mampong and its environs and elsewhere across Ghana and the brouhaha about Fulani herdsmen brought to our attention the need to assess the level of Regulation, Compliance and Awareness among livestock farmers in the livestock subsector in Ghana. We interviewed 40 farmers who were into Rabbit rearing, Poultry, Sheep, Goats, Pigs and Grass cutter rearing. The survey was carried out in the Ga East and Ga West Municipal Assemblies as well as Akuapem South Municipal Assembly. Communities around Abokobi, Amasaman and Pokuase, part of Mampong in the eastern Region of Ghana were involved. The results showed that 54% of the respondents were natives of their communities whilst 46% were non natives and these were comprised of 66% males and 32% females. In addition, their educational levels indicated that 27% had higher education whilst 73% had lower education level. With regards to management methods, 68%, 0% and 32% practiced intensive, free-range and semi-intensive systems respectively. Out of the total number of farmers interviewed, 10% were aware of LI 1652 and 90% of them did not know. With regards to interaction with the Assemblies of their activities, 66% had interaction with the Assembly but 34% did not. 66% indicated that the Assembly visited their farms whilst 32% indicated that the Assembly did not visit them. Data collected indicated that 54% of the farmers belonged to Farmer based Associations whilst 46% were not. It is obvious from this survey that majority of the farmers did not know about the Laws that control their activities in relation to the environment in which they operate. Therefore, it is recommended that education and compliance monitoring must be elevated by the Municipal, Metropolitan and District Assemblies in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency so as to control the menace of uncontrolled livestock rearing as well as the activities of Fulani herdsmen.
The agriculture sector in Ghana is well regulated under the Ghana Environmental Assessment Regulations of 1999(LI 1652). Under this regulatory instrument, the livestock subsector in Ghana is well reviewed and classified for easy monitoring so as to reduce their adverse impacts on the environment. This LI 1652 was based on the Environmental Protection Agency Act of 1994 (Act 490) that established the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Ghana. This act mandates the EPA to be custodians of the Ghanaian environment, regulating, monitoring, enforcing and creating the necessary awareness among the citizenry. They operate hand in hand with the local Authorities who are the Municipal, Metropolitan and the District Assemblies those also comprising the Town and Country Planning Department that zones lands into various activity development zones and permits structural developments. The Works Departments also regulates physical structures. Other such departments under the Local Government structure of Ghana in conjunction with the EPA work to regulate and enforce environmental compliance in all developments in Ghana. These developments are classified into 9 sectors namely, Agriculture, Energy, Forestry and Wildlife, General Construction, Health, Manufacturing, Mining, Tourism and Transportation. Under the Agriculture activity area are ,Mechanized farming, Irrigation, Livestock farming, Crops production, Post harvest management, Fruits and Vegetable farming, Fisheries, Fishing harbor construction, Aqua culture, Fishing and Trapping, Pesticides and Agro-Chemicals, Cold Storage facilities, Silos and Agro-Chemicals.
The Livestock subsector undoubtedly involves so much activity that results in a lot of impacts on the environment so that even more impacts are envisaged at constructional and operational phases of the activities based on the type and quantity of animals involved. On the basis of this, activities are classified as no impact, medium impact or high impact or development. Major constituting factors to this classification are the waste generated as liquid or solid, odour as well as noise.
The Agricultural sector in Ghana includes the crops other than cocoa (61% of Agricultural GDP), livestock (9% of Agricultural GDP), fisheries (5% Agricultural GDP), forestry (11% of Agricultural GDP) and the Cocoa subsector (14% of Agricultural GDP).
For purposes of screening, livestock under the Agricultural sector in Ghana are, beef cattle production, goats and sheep production, pigs production, rabbit production and grass cutter production or domestication. Poultry includes chicken production, guinea fowls production, ducks production, ostrich production and turkey production (EPA, 2001). For purposes of management, any activity undertaken in this subsector is classified based on its scale, location sensitivity, level of its impact on human settlement or life, water resources, soil resources and any other resources. There can therefore be any of the following impact: no significant impact, medium significant impact or very significant impact and based on these, decisions or a regulatory approach is adopted.
Where effluent from farm animal houses and slaughter houses are directly emptied into sewer lines or river bodies, direct effluent quality parameters must conform to sewer guidelines and discharge into water body guidelines. From an abattoir or slaughter houses, farms and Animal product factories, pollution indicators such as Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD),Biochemical Oxygen Demand ( BOD5 ), Total suspended solids(TSS), Ortho- phosphate ( PO3-4 ), Nitrates (NO3– ), Ammonium nitrogen ( (NH3-N) and Total Kjedahl Nitrogen ( TKN) are very important in environmental pollution( Nkegbe et al. , 2005). A high COD value has the potential to deplete all dissolved oxygen in the receiving water body hence is deleterious to the aquatic environment. BOD5 is the most important in water pollution since it indicates the actual level of biodegradable pollutants in any waste water (Hammer and Hammer, 1996). Total suspended solids (TSS) could be a source of nuisance (aesthetic) along river banks, it can also cause havoc in irrigation systems where in the form of algae, it can block pipes, sprinklers, emitters and narrow water channels. It can also absorb heavy metals onto their surface and thereby facilitate formation of heavy metal complexes (Toumi et al., 2000). It can also be a source of organic decay that can release nauseating odour. The majority of waterborne diseases are as a result of ingestion of contaminated water. The contamination of water with the responsible pathogens occurs primarily through human or animal faeces. Major waterborne diseases are caused by Salmonella typhi, Shigella, E.coli, Campylobacter, Vibrio cholera, Leptospira, Pasteurella tularensis, Yersinia enterocolitica, Legionella pneumophila, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Aeromonas spp. and Mycobacterium.
Recent anecdotal reports of violence among livestock farmers and local residents in Ghana over grazing rights and unauthorized location of cattle ranches especially at Mampong and its environs and elsewhere across Ghana and the brouhaha about Fulani herdsmen (Migrant Sahelian livestock farmers who still practice Transhumance) brought to our attention the need to assess the level of Regulation, Compliance and Awareness among livestock farmers in the livestock subsector in Ghana. This study was therefore to assess the knowledge levels of some selected livestock farmers in suburban.
Materials and Methods
Participating farmers were selected by Technical Officers of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) in the Municipal Assemblies in the Accra sub urban area; Ga west, Ga East and the Akuapem South Municipal Assembly. Questionnaires were designed and administered directly to the respondents by field officers. 400 farmers were identified and 40 of them randomly selected for the interview. The data generated were subjected to the Chi-squared analysis and percentages.
Results and Discussion
Results of the study were shown in Tables 1 to 4 below. In Table 1, only the Poultry sector of the study group reached the level of registration and monitoring by the Assemblies and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as the others fell into the small impact group. Only 54% of the study group were members of Farmer based Organizations as shown in Table 3. Only a meager 10% of the study group knew of LI 1652. This was supported by the 7% that knew of the Regulating Agency, the EPA. However, 54% of the group had had an interaction with the Local Assemblies. 54% of the respondents are natives of the study areas whilst 46% were not. In addition our data showed that, 66 % of respondents were males whilst 34% were females. In terms of educational background, 27% had up to Polytechnic or University Education whilst 73% had up to the Junior High School or Middle School levels.
Table 1. Nature of Impact of Activities
Livestock type Size range Regulatory Classification Regulatory Requirement
Sheep 13-22 Small Impact
Goats 8-18 Small Impact
Pigs 4-9 Small Impact
Poultry 250-1500 Medium Impact Registration
Grasscutter 12-18 Small
Rabbits 8-17 Small
The livestock industry is a major source of income to a lot of people directly or indirectly in Ghana. It forms about 40% of main source of income to a lot of farmers across the four main vegetational zones in Ghana as it contributes about 11.2% of the main source of income to most livestock farmers in Ghana. About 30.8% of Ghanaians use it as a supplement to their incomes. About 18.1% of Ghanaians into livestock rearing use it as source of protein supplement for domestic consumption. Other reasons for undertaking livestock rearing include, its usage as items of gifts or as inheritance, as a hobby or as a source of cash for urgent needs ( Oppong-Anane et al., 2008). These could be the possible reasons why the farm sizes other than Poultry were rather small as shown in Table 1. Also, the study areas are urban where resources like land, feed and water are scarce. High mortality rate among the animals could also be a reason.
Table 2.Member of Farmer Association.
Table 3. LI 1652 Awareness among Respondents.
Over 50% of respondents belonged to Farmer Organizations or groups as shown in Table 2, where information relevant to their Association and farm Management requirement could easily be given by Non Governmental Organizations in the Agriculture Sector as well as other Government Departments and Agencies no matter the sizes of their farms. One would expect a very high positive response in terms of knowledge of relevant laws regulating their activities. However, Tables 3 and 4 showed that 90% of the respondents did not know of LI 1652 whilst apart from their awareness of the Municipal and District Assemblies, majority of respondents knew very little about the Environmental Protection Agency which is the main regulatory body of the sector as only 7% of respondents knew of the Agency. This poor response agreed with the poor response given to LI1652.
Table 4. Farmers Knowledge of Regulatory Institutions.
It is obvious from the studies that much need to be done by the Local Authorities and the EPA in education and monitoring to create awareness about the relevant laws regulating the activities of livestock farmers. It is only by these that the menace of Fulani Herdsmen and uncontrolled release of land to herdsmen could be controlled. As the study showed, the problems would persist unless tackled properly by the relevant authorities.
We acknowledge the contributions from the staff of MoFA at Abokobi, Amasaman and other Field Officers who helped in this survey.
EPA, Environmental Protection Agency of Ghana .2001. Guidelines for Screening Agricultural Projects.
Hammer MJ and Hammer MJ Jr .1996. Water and Wastewater Technology. 3rd Edn., PrenticeHall International. USA. Pp. 125-130.
Nkegbe E, Sankwasa S,Koorapetsi I and Keikanetswe I. 2005. An Overview of COD load removal at Glen Valley Reactivated Sludge Wastewater Treatment Plant. J. Appld.Sci. 5:1178-1181.
Oppong-Anane K, Karbo N, Doku CK, Rhule SWA and Ameleke GY 2010. Review of Ghana,s Livestock sector. FAO.Accra, Ghana.
Toumi A, Nejmeddine A and Hamouri El .2000. Heavy metal removal in Waste Stabilisation Ponds and High Rate Ponds. In: Pearson HW, Mara DD and Azov Y, (Eds). Water Sci. and Technol., Waste Stabilisation Ponds, Technol. Environ. IWA. London. Bristol. UK.pp. 17-21.