AgricultureHerdsmen and Farmers

Good idea, reckless planning : Govt to set up ranches in Oyo, Benue, Kaduna, seven others

The Federal Government and states have agreed to set up cattle ranches in 10 states — Adamawa, Benue, Ebonyi, Edo, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Oyo, Plateau, Taraba and Zamfara to end herders, farmers’ crisis in the country.

The 10 states are in the first phase of the national ranching project.

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This was disclosed on Tuesday in Abuja at the unveiling of the National Economic Council’s National Livestock Transformation Plan as part of efforts to end clashes between farmers and herdsmen.

While presenting the plan, the Secretary of the NEC Sub-Committee, Dr. Andrew Kwasari, said the Federal Government and states would spend N70bn in the first three years of the pilot phase of the programme.

He also said that N179bn would be spent over a period of 10 years on the national livestock implementation.

NEC, had in January, set up a committee headed by the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), to look into herdsmen and farmers’ clashes.

Early in February, NEC established a sub-committee led by the Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, to proffer lasting solutions to the crisis.

At the media briefing on Tuesday, Kwasari said, “The National Livestock Implementation Plan is a mediation stemming from meetings and recommendations of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and NEC in 2017 as regards state interventions following the incessant pastoralist-farmer conflicts.”

According to the plan, 10 states in pilot phase include Adamawa, Benue, Ebonyi, Edo, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Oyo, Plateau, Taraba and Zamfara.

Kwasari disclosed that in April NEC approved the pilot implementation of the Federal Government-States Joint Ranching Policy as recommended by the sub-committee.

He stated, “A ranch design has also been proposed in models of various sizes clustered in 94 locations in the 10 pilot states.”

Kwasari added that the government planned transformation of pastoralism to ranching “to reduce the struggle for common resources.”

The secretary said, according to the plan, governors and private entities of the frontline states had donated land for the establishment of pilot ranches.

Kawasari indicated that there would be ranch models of 30, 60, 150 and 300 cows in a location within grazing reserves.

He added, “Based on the carrying capacity of each of the model ranches above, as determined by pasture and fodder yields, land is allocated for pasture production.”

The secretary explained that grain production for livestock feed and post-harvest residues were incorporated into the ranching design.

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