20 June 2018

Nigeria: Govt Unveils Pilot Livestock Plan for 10 States

Abuja — The Federal Government yesterday announced moves to create 94 ranches in 10 pilot states under the National Livestock Implementation Plan.

The project is a mediation strategy emanating from meetings and recommendations of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development as well as the National Economic Council, which began in 2017, as panacea to the incessant pastoralist-farmer conflicts.

Meanwhile, the report of the committee, headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, and presented by the representative of the project secretariat, Andrew Kwasari, disclosed that over N170 billion would be spent on the 10-year plan while both the federal and state governments will be spending about N70 billion in the first three years of the project.

The pilot tests are to begin in Adamawa, Benue, Ebonyi, Edo, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Oyo, Plateau, Taraba and Zamfara states.

The report also placed the coordination at the federal, state and community levels within the pilot states.

The National Economic Council, had in April this year, approved the pilot implementation of the FG-state joint ranching policy.

It reads in part: "A total of 94 ranches have been designed in various clusters across the 10 pilot states.

"The government intended to transit pastoralism to ranching in order to reduce the struggle for common resources."

For the proposed ranching to be successful, the committee noted six essential factors.

According to the report, they include land allocation, ranch size models, access to finance and market, humanitarian efforts as well as feeds, pasture, water and fodder production.

The models are designed to house 30, 60, 150 and 300 cows in each location within the gazetted grazing reserves.

There is also a 1000-cow breeder ranch in seven of the 10 pilot states.

Governor Samuel Ortom, who accepted the presentation as a reflection of the decision of the committee towards finding a lasting solution to the killings, however, vowed not to revoke Benue State's anti-open grazing law.

To the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, there had been meetings over the issues.

"We have reached certain decisions, some funding provided by Federal Government to bring the killings to an end," he said.

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