In a move to curb the incessant clashes between farmers and cattle herdsmen, the Federal Government has concluded plans to establish ‘cattle colonies’ across the country. The project is expected to start immediately.
Agriculture and Rural Development minister Chief Audu Ogbeh while making the declaration today at a retreat for special advisers and directors of the ministry in Abuja said already 16 states have indicated interest and have offered up to five hectares of land each for the project.
‘On the issue of cattle we have to start immediately, 16 states have given us land to work on. The programme is not going to be cheap. Mr President has personally informed me that if we seek help from him he will give it to us over and above the budget we have, and when that budget is released I plead with all of you to come on board to work hard to achieve results.
“We are talking of cattle colonies not ranches so to speak, where we will provide water, grass, training for herdsmen, cattle breeding and insemination,” he said.
The minister who regretted the manner at which Nigerians were getting extremely uncomfortable with the recent killings from farmers and herdsmen clashes said by creating the colonies, the Ministry would be dealing with the problem.
“We have to deal with an urgent problem, cattle rearing and the conflicts between farmers and herdsmen, and actually bring it to a halt. I know that some people argue that the culture of open grazing is our culture, but when a culture begins to develop dangerous trends leading to warfare between people and bloody clashes and death that culture is due for re-examination; if it is harmful we reform it,” he pointed out.