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Grazing Reserves only Way out of Herdsmen, Farmers Clash -Agriculture Minister

Ayodele Afolabi,  Abuja

Despite mounting opposition to the Grazing reserves bill, the Federal Government has insisted  that for  the now escalating clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers to stop, Ranches must be provided to stop the roaming of men and animals to forestall further conflicts.

Agriculture Minister, chief Audu Ogbe  stated this Tuesday at a Public Hearing on the harmonisation of eleven Bills and motions centring on Agricultural development and ending the Fulani Herdsmen and Farmers clashes now spreading all over the country.

He said the Agriculture Ministry, view the incessant killings as a negative development that must stopped quickly.

According to chief Ogbe, the Fulani herdsmen deserved to be quartered along with their cattle in well developed Ranches stoked will protein-fortified grass and water-holes for the animals to feed and rest so as to produce more milk and meat for consumption.

He added that such intervention in the cattle-rearing industry is necessary considering the fact unlike other agric products such as rice, yam, sorghum, wheat and sugar that have enjoyed government patronage in terms of research and development, cattle rearing has never enjoyed same.

The minister debunked the general belief that it is a way of life for the average fulani man to tag-along with his cattle all over the places and that with proper incentives and encouragement they could become sedimentry and their cattle more robust.

Other stakeholders however felt that rather for government to make a general demand on every state of the federation for land donation on which to build animal ranches, a policy of comparative advantage in agricultural production should be adopted by states and regions for them to concentrate on growing crops best suited for their soil and climate.

They submitted that Ranches should be restricted to regions where cattle are raised while other regions use their land for whatever suited them best.

Earlier in his opening remarks, Speaker House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara called for frank discussion and indepth analysis of the herdsmen and farmers imbroglio that will identify its root cause so as to put a permanent stop to it.  


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