Long-term neglect of herdmen responsible for crises
The federal government has said that the long-term neglect of herdsmen in the country is responsible for the continuing crisis between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria. This was disclosed by the Minister of Agriculture and rural development, Audu Ogbeh, during a meeting on the crisis between herdsmen and farmers in Abuja on Monday.
According to him, the country has not done much in the livestock development sector of the country. He said, “Over the years, we have not done much to look seriously into the issue of livestock development in the country. I am sad to tell you that in the last 50 years until recently, we may have done enough for the rice farmer, the cassava farmer, the maize farmer, the cocoa farmer, but we have not done much for herdsman and that inability and omission on our part is resulting in the crises we are witnessing today.”
“In Europe, every cow that is farmed gets a subsidy of 6 Euros per day, we have done next to nothing for the cattle rearers and as a result, their operations have become threats to other farmers.”
The Minister, however, disclosed that the government is putting together a programme called “cattle colonies” as part of its efforts to end the crisis. “At least, five thousand hectares of land would be made available, adequate water, adequate pasture would be made available.”
“We also want to stop cattle rearers from roaming about. The cattle will be provided with water and adequate security by the Agro Rangers,” he added.
On his part, the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, while speaking during the opening ceremony stated that the government would not tolerate insecurity in any part of the country. He also noted that even though it is a function of the government to protect the citizens, the current trend of the situation is very bad for the North, and Nigeria in general.”
He, therefore, urged that quick measures be taken so that that the situation will not result in food insecurity in the country.