Cattle influx worry Awerial farmers

An influx of cattle into farmlands in Awerial County of Lakes state has created fears and concerns among farmers.

Several cattle camps are said to have been established around Mabor Chuei village. The farmers say the cattle are in close proximity to the farms.

“When it rains, most of the cattle move toward the cultivated fields. This thing has been recurring in our area and…now there is anticipated hunger in the country and our means of survival is local food production,” said Samuel Majak Agoor, a local farmer.

He added that the cattle are scattered in areas like Duek-anguem, Gak, Chati and Guel-weng.

In June, farmers at Pachuet-thook village of Awerial County also decried the presence of cattle in agricultural zones during the cultivation season.

“We don’t want cattle to destroy our farms. I call on the crops protection committee to find a solution before it is too late,” Majak appealed.

In April, cattle herders agreed to abide by an order issued by Governor Rin Tueny to regulate animals in farming areas. Awerial County authority also issued a local order asking all cattle keepers to move their animals away from agricultural zones to allow effective farming in 2022.

The chairperson of the Crops Protection Committee in Awerial, Sultan Moses Malual Achan warned cattle keepers against herding animals into farming zones.

“Agriculture is the priority in Lakes state and there is a law protecting the crops in all the counties. I will talk to the camp leaders to vacate those cattle camps that are near the agricultural zones to far places by force. We have a joint force that will deal with anyone who will not listen to us,” he stated.

Early this year, Lakes State governor encouraged citizens to embark on agriculture as a means of survival and to stop depending on relief agencies.