June 21, 2018News
One of the deadly confrontations in Nigeria in recent times is the farmers-pastoralists crisis attributed to declining availability of pasture, water and grazing land.
To address the situation, which is threatening to bring the nation’s agriculture to its knees, the Federal Government mandated the National Economic Council to come up with a national livestock blue print to deal with the issue.
On Tuesday, the National Livestock Transformation Plan (2018–2027), a multifaceted intervention that will modernise livestock management in the country and help achieve improved productivity and security, was presented to the National Economic Council (NEC) chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
The plan recommended 94 ranches in 10 frontline states which government said a Public Private Partnership (PPP) approach will be deployed in funding.
The 10 states for the pilot implementation are Adamawa, Benue Ebonyi, Edo, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Oyo, Plateau, Taraba and Zamfara.
“The implementation of the plan will be coordinated at both federal and state levels. The National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) is a comprehensive one that covers everything from economic investment to humanitarian interventions to conflict resolution and strengthening of law and order,” the Presidency stated in its twitter handle.
Reacting to the development, the national leadership of the All Farmers’ Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Architect Kabiru Ibrahim, said any plan that will ameliorate the crop farmers-herders’ crisis was a welcome development.
He noted that the crisis was already taking its toll on farmers’ productivity, adding that the association was also working with other donor agencies to deal with the problem.
The AFAN president, however, advised that the end users should be carried along in designing the ranches or colonies and spelt out who used what facility and at what time in the ranches else another crisis over the facilities would occur between the herders themselves.
Also reacting, the Benue State Coordinator of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Garus Gololo, said the Federal Government’s decision to outlaw open grazing by replacing it with ranches across the state was a welcome development.
Gololo said the idea should include provision of amenities such as schools, veterinary and water supply among others or there would be problem for the herders raising their animals in ranches.
But the president general of a socio-cultural umbrella body of the Tiv, Mdzough u Tiv, Engr. Edward Ujege, noted that the Benue State grazing law was made by the people, insisting that only the people can change it.
Ujege added that there must be dialogue on the matter because the Federal Government cannot impose the proposed ranching on the state. He also said the Miyetti Allah group must be brought to justice and compensation paid for loss of lives and property in the state.
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