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Berekum MUSEC to address two-week ultimatum to goat rearers to relocate  


  8 Janvier      15        Science (464),

   

By Dennis Peprah, GNA 

 

Berekum-Senase (B/R), Jan. 8, GNA – The Berekum Municipal Security Committee (MUSECis to meet over the two-week ultimatum by the Berekum Traditional Council, ordering goat rearers in the municipality to relocate their animals to avoid incurring the wrath of the gods.  

 

The ultimatum, which expires next week, has also affected the Semanhyia Learning and Management Farms, a goat rearing and research centre at Senase in the Berekum Municipality of the Bono Region, which has made some significant investments into the farm. 

According to the Council, it is a taboo to rear goats in the community as the traditional deity (local god) forbids these animals. 

However, in a telephone interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on Sunday at SenaseMr Kofi Adjei, the Municipal Chief Executive, said the MUSEC would find an amicable solution to the issue by close of this week. 

 

Mr Frederick Benneh Frimpong, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Semanhyia Learning and Management Farms, confirmed to the GNA that the Council had officially informed him of the directive to relocate his goats, which would expire next week. 

 

So we’re currently undertaking a vigorous social media campaign drive; #savesemamhyiafarms# and we need the Government’s intervention too,” he said. 
 
The centre had more than 250 breeds of goats, including imported ones, and employed about seven people, but they had started selling the animals because of the ultimatumMr Frimpong said. 

 

Operations at the centre started in 2019 with about five million Ghana cedis being invested into the farm so far, which covered about 10 acres of landhe said. 

 

“We were even doing some expansion works when we received the ultimatum. Last year alone, we invested an additional GhC400,000 on a new pen project to keep the animals and we can’t afford to lose it,” he noted. 

 

“In fact, it is a goat learning and research centre for educational and learning purposes and we have the vision to build it to make it the largest research Centre in the West African sub-region.” 

 

The CEO said the farmers had engaged the Traditional Authorities to extend the two-week ultimatum, which they had declined.  

 

Emmanuel Kwame Osei, an employee, said the closure of the centre would have a toll on him and his colleagues, as that had been their main source of livelihood. 

 

Another employee, Francis Dwomoh, described the directive as “unacceptable” and appealed for government’s immediate intervention. 

 

The GNA had gathered that the Traditional Council, somewhere last year, ordered livestock keepers, especially those rearing goats, to either sell their animals or move them out of the municipality. 

 

The order was given due to the expected ‘Doteyie’ (pre-burial funeral and interment) of Daasebre Dr Amankona Diawuo II, the Paramount Chief of the Berekum Traditional Area, who died on Friday, June 9, 2023. 

 

The Council had since remained silent, as some of the chiefs the GNA contacted declined to comment on the issue. 

 

However, a source at the Berekum Palace, who pleaded anonymity, told the GNA that the traditional deity (local god) of the area “forbids goats” hence the people were forbidden to rear the animal on the Berekum soil 

 

That was not only to preserve the customs and traditions, but also to prevent the community from incurring the wrath of the deity, the source said. 

 

It confirmed that the Council met last year and directed all goat rearers to either sell their animals or move them out of the community. 

 

Meanwhile, butchers in the municipality have expressed worry over the order, saying it had slowed down their businesses. 

 

A butcher at the Berekum main abattoir, popularly known as “Agya Koo, said his colleagues and himself had to travel to either Techiman or Dormaa-Ahenkro among other places to buy slaughtered goats to sell at the Berekum Market. 

 

That, he added, was not only affecting their profit but also making goat meat scarce in the area. 

 

Some livestock keepers also confirmed that their animals were forcibly taken and slaughtered by a taskforce, allegedly set up by the Traditional Council. 

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