For peaceful relationship between farmers and herders, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has backed establishment of ranches in the country.
His position was endorsed by the Vice President of Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Mansur Muhtar, who regretted that between 2016 and now, no fewer than 4,000 persons have died in conflicts, with thousands sustaining physical and emotional injuries.
He said it was unfortunate that the Agriculture Promotion Policy (APP) 2016-2020 and National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) (6), approved in 2019, are yet to see light of day.
He recalled: “The NLTP proposes the development of market-driven ranches in seven pilot states (Adamawa, Benue, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Plateau, Taraba and Zamfara) for improved livestock productivity through breed (genetic) improvement and pasture production.”
The duo spoke yesterday at the opening of national conference on livestock reform and mitigation of associated conflicts in Abuja.
Ganduje maintained that the Rural Grazing Area (RUGA) policy remains the only sustainable option that could mitigate existential problems, as pastoralists would have lands to graze without cattle straying.
He observed that herders needed fodder for their flocks, hence it has become imperative to promote alternative means of producing feedstock and reducing propensity for grazing land.
The governor said the nomads should be persuaded to move their cattle into established ranches and public grazing reserves, where breeding farms and other mechanised livestock management practices would boost the sector’s productivity.
Decrying the spate of killings and destruction of homes due to conflicts, he pointed out that climate change erosion has instigated competition over natural resources, pushing herders to venture into new areas to seek pasture for their herds.
Ganduje said weakness of state institutions and lack of infrastructure have not helped matter.
Also speaking at the event, graced by no less than 500 stakeholders comprising academics, development experts and transitional leaders, Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, decried politicisation of the clashes.
He, therefore, called for review of the ECOWAS treaty on e proliferation of small arms and light weapons said to be abused by migrant herders from neighbouring countries.
Urging conferees to revert to report on farmer-herder clashes put together by former President Goodluck Jonathan administration, the Sultan added that dialogue and involvement of traditional leaders would come handy in conflict resolution across the federation.