The federal government through the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh has revealed plans to host a national conference to address farmers/ herdsmen clashes.
The Minister who stated this when he received a summary report rising from a policy dialogue on transformation of grazing reserves to ranches in Abuja yesterday said “We have been working on a major national issue that has been of concern to all of us, the issue of herdsmen and farmers clashes and the big question of grazing reserves and ranches”.
Ogbeh said “We are targeting June this year for a major national conference on this matter and that conference will bring in all stakeholders, including the very angry farmers, the policy makers(governors), the security agents , Ministry of Agric, Miyetti Allah and all other stakeholders”
“We are not silent on the matter, we are concerned about ending this crises and applying every possible means of solving the problems, so this society can be happier and see cattle rearing as something of benefit to Nigeria, noting that in Holland 25 per cent of the land mass is ranching, that is why it is the largest diary exporter to the rest of the world. Ours doesn’t have to be a source of conflict”
“All of us rather than quarrel and disagree will seat together and analyse this matter to solve the problem and we will solve the problems by looking at all the dimensions, the difficulties and all the possibilities which exist” he said
The minister said “We need the cows, the milk and the skins, we were exporting the skins before, Nigeria, was a major hide and skin exporter, we need the farms to grow food, but we do not need the conflicts”.
He noted that “the team had looked at all the existing grazing reserves about 415 in the country and why they are no longer functioning , trans humans trafficking, how to identify them and control their movements”Presenting the report to the minister Programme Assistant, Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) Nigeria, Dr Rabe Mani said “the team had focused on four thematic areas including Access to Land for Livestock Production, Access to Capital, Access to Markets and Recommendation Infrastructure, Input and Manpower.