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Farmers/herders conflicts: Committee recommends creation of Ministry of Livestock

The National Livestock Reforms Committee has recommended the establishment of Ministry of Livestock that will supervise issues of farmers/herders clashes in the country. The committee…

The National Livestock Reforms Committee has recommended the establishment of Ministry of Livestock that will supervise issues of farmers/herders clashes in the country.

The committee submitted its recommendation on the reformation of livestock business in the country to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Thursday.

A former governor of Kano State and National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, led the delegation.

While speaking, he said there were four types of herdsmanship in the country, stating that “there are herders that settle at home, there are the ones, who are Nigerians that move from different parts of the country to another, there are herdsmen that come from neighbouring West African countries as well as the ones that have settled among certain ethnic nationalities that have become indigenes of the area.”

Ganduje said, “It is gratifying to lead this team of patriotic Nigerians and experts in various fields of human endeavour before Mr. President to present the report of the national conference on Livestock reforms.

“The Report grew out of the urgent need to reform and develop the livestock industry and to provide solutions to the age-long conflicts between herders and farmers in Nigeria.

“The low productivity of the sector has made Nigeria an import dependent economy draining scarce foreign reserves used for importing dairy, meat and other livestock products. Similarly, the conflicts is resulting in killings of citizens and loss of livelihoods, further affecting peaceful coexistence in the country.

“With increasing populations, ecological changes such as soil erosion and degradation of grazing areas and changing climates, adopting innovative crops and livestock production practices is no longer luxury but an essential investment that this people centred administration under your leadership needs to vigorously pursue.

“There have been repeated attempts to develop the livestock industry with varying levels of failures and successes. The adoption of improved production practices that will increase productivity and help the cattle owners to permanently settle have been abysmal due to many factors such as inadequate planning and funding of programmes, weak extension services as well as other cultural, economic and technological barriers.

“The persistence of these problems has allowed unhealthy competition and acrimony to grow among farmers and herders resulting to violent conflicts across the country.”

He said as the Governor of Kano State, his administration pursued deliberate efforts of promoting the modernisation of livestock production, while at the same time strengthening local authorities to manage relationships and amicably resolve conflicts between the groups. For this reason, Kano State remained among the most peaceful States in the country throughout our eight years of governance.

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