Two South-West States, Oyo and Ogun State have been included in the list of twenty-one Nigerian states to pilot grazing reserves initiative.
Sambo Nanono, Minister for National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development (NCARD), revealed this during a meeting in Abuja on Thursday, 17th June.
The minister said that to commence the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP), the Federal Government has approved the establishment of grazing reserves in the nineteen northern states and two in the South-West states mentioned above.
While Ogun is yet to be gazetted for the scheme tailored at having at least a ranch in every state, the Acting Director, Animal Husbandry in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Winnie Lai- Solarin, confirmed the development.
Nanono who spoke during the 44th regular meeting of NCARD affirmed that 22 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) had registered with the NLTP’s office.
The minister disclosed further that a Dutch consortium was partnering with the government to begin the pilot phase for the project in Nasarawa State.
According to him, the site will serve as a hub for knowledge and skill transfer to the pastoral communities and encourage them to adopt ranching as a mode of farming.
He said: “We are all aware of the troubles that our nation is going through with respect to the farmers-herders clashes, which have often produced violent and expensive consequences. This administration is more committed than ever to resolve this problem on a more permanent solution,”
“When fully implemented, the NLTP would bring an end to the incessant clashes and introduce the herders to the modern way of raising cattle, with all the added benefits of improved feeding, animal and human health, genetic improvement, value addition and better socio-economic standing for participants,” the minister noted.
He stated that the scheme had been adjudged well-conceived globally, with the government resolving to create an enabling environment to attract more investments into the sub-sector.
However, to ensure effective monitoring of government interventions in the agriculture sector, the current administration has established an online portal to capture bio-data of 10 million farmers and link them with their plots, crops and volumes of production in the country.
He said the government initially intended to capture 2.4 million farmers but ended up extending the target to 10 million on the advice of the Economic Sustainability Plan Team.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson of the Nigerian Senate, Dr. Ajibola Basiru on Wednesday insisted that President Muhammadu Buhari has been given wrong information by his team regarding the laws on grazing routes in any part of Nigeria.
Basiru in a personally signed statement in Abuja titled, “No Law of Grazing Routes in Nigeria: Either North or South” stated that no law exists any longer on grazing routes in the country.