The federal government says it will convert the country’s grazing reserves to ranches.
Bashir Usman, executive secretary of the National Commission for Nomadic Education (NCNE), disclosed this on Tuesday at a training workshop on the remodelling exercise held in Zaria, Kaduna state.
Usman said the move is part of the government’s efforts to transform and modernise the country’s livestock industry through the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP).
The remodelling, he said, will kick of in seven states — Adamawa, Taraba, Plateau, Nasarawa, Benue, Kaduna and Zamfara.
The federal government had mulled establishing cattle colonies through Ruga. But after a public outcry, it suspended the plan and subsequently announced the NLTP in its place.
Usman, speaking through Mohammed El-Nafaty, director, social mobilisation and women development in the commission, said the existing grazing reserves have already been carved out, demarcated and gazetted.
He added that 141 out of the 416 grazing reserves, spread across the six geopolitical zones of the country with a total of 3.4 million hectares of land, had been gazetted.
He said the development would help put an end to the clashes between farmers and herders.
“The main idea of developing the grazing reserves into ranches is to provide state –of- the –art- grazing resources for livestock herders in the country with a view to curtailing the unending farmer-herder conflicts that are threatening the existence of Nigeria as a nation,” Usman said,” Usman said.
“This can be achieved through the transformation of grazing reserves into ranches otherwise known as Intensive Livestock Production Systems.
“This entails training and re-training of front-line staff and other key stakeholders, effective community mobilisation and sensitisation through extension services.
“It also involves the identification, mapping and clustering of pastoralists and their communities in the existing grazing reserves as evidence based data preparatory for the full implementation of ranching concept in the country.
“It equally entails the provision of the requisite resources and infrastructure to serve as a window of opportunities for the livestock producers to have access to improved production facilities and social amenities.
“Other provisions include schools, security, markets, clinics, livestock service centers, access roads, milk and meat processing centers along the value chains as well as other critical infrastructure.”
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