–The Economic Community of West African States, (ECOWAS) Commission has urged government of member states to implement the regulations on livestock and pastoralism across the region.
Dr. Fouad Mohammed, representative of the Director of Agriculture and Rural Development, ECOWAS Commission, made the call in a presentation at the Parliamentary Seminar on Transhumance and inter-community conflicts holding in Monrovia, Liberia.
The Media and Communications Department of the Parliament made this known to the media on Friday following outcomes from the parliamentary session in Monrovia, Liberia.
Mohammed said that the call was in the bid to curb incessant farmers and herders crisis as well as other inter-community crisis ravaging member states.
He stated that Pastoralism was an essential component of the West Africa state economy; hence the necessity for it to be regulated in other to provide high-value and at same time reduce conflicts and insecurity.
Furthermore, he recalled that there was a decision of 1998 and a regulation that was adopted in 2003 to regulate the transhumance activities across the region.
He said the effective implementation of the regulation provides the organisation of information and awareness-raising campaigns or sessions, communication, training and education for transhumant livestock farmers.
According to him, the regulations once implemented would also be effective to the various stakeholders involved in transhumance in the zones of departure, transit and reception of transhumant herds.
“It provides also, the setting up and/or revitalisation 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.
“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”, he said.
Mohammed said the need for compliance by pastoralists, trans human, farmers and other components of rural society with ECOWAS Community regulations relating to transhumance between Member States could not be over emphasied.
He, however, mentioned that most member states are yet to implement 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.
“The regulations are there, the implementation is slow, but we are getting there,” Mohammed said, adding that the regulation when put in place would help checkmate free movement and integration, which he described as a major objective of ECOWAS.