Nelly Bassily | October 5, 2009
A group of peasant farmers are putting their lives at risk by tending their crops in Apremdo, western Ghana. They have been warned against the danger of stray bullets, but can’t afford to stop farming. Their fields are located next to a military camp. Although they have been warned to stay away, the farmers feel they must work to survive.
On September 26, the farmers received a letter warning them of danger. The infantry unit was planning a training exercise using live ammunition. They were warned to stay off their farms for a month. Two days later, the military exercise began. The farmers refused to leave.
The farmers have called on their chief to request the military commander to stop the exercise. Meanwhile, the chairman of the regional security council has asked farmers to comply with the order and stay away from their fields. The farmers say they cannot do this. They have perishable crops that must be tended.
Farm Radio Weekly is interested in learning whether the situation of farmers being displaced by military exercises (or other government-operated or government-sponsored activities) is a common problem in sub-Saharan Africa. If this type of displacement has happened in your area, please let us know by posting a comment on the FRW website (http://weekly.farmradio.org/) or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.