Federal Govt begins cattle colonies next week

From left: Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; President Muhammadu Buhari; Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN); Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe and Minister of Stste for Agriculture, Sen Heinekaen Lokpobiri during the Federal Executive Council Meeting in Abuja
From left: Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; President Muhammadu Buhari; Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN); Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe and Minister of State for Agriculture, Sen Heinekaen Lokpobiri during the Federal Executive Council Meeting in Abuja

The Federal Government says work will commence next week on cattle colonies in states that have indicated interest to establish them.

Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, disclosed this on Friday during a visit to the Agriculture and Veterinary Complex of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

Ogbeh said that the National Economic Council on Thursday set up a 10-member committee comprising the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, as Chairman and nine governors to facilitate the commencement of the cattle colonies in interested states.

“We are happy that we are making progress in agriculture now.

“One of the most topical issues we have today is that of farmers and herdsmen clashes.

“If we do not deal with it quickly, we run the risk of damaging the harmony and the co-existence of Nigeria as a country. The killings are getting too many.

“In our attempt to solve the problem, we have proffered certain solutions but perhaps we were not sensitive enough to Nigeria’s fragile sensitivities and suspicions.

“When we spoke of colonies, we were immediately greeted with reactions that this was an attempt to cease Nigeria’s land and give to the Fulanis to colonise.

“The intention is not for Fulanis or anyone to colonise any territory. It is to provide a haven for cattle to graze in peace under controlled environments to prevent the conflicts between farmers and herdsmen.

“Only yesterday, a committee was set up by the Vice President with members, most of them, state governors discussing this matter and resolving that states that are interested will begin work on this matter as soon as next week.’’

The minister said that the Federal Government would engage the services of the National Animal Production Research Institute (NAPRI) to assist in the production of fodder for cattle.

According to him, open grazing is posing serious challenges and it is not too efficient for the cattle.

Ogbeh described open grazing as a `torture’ to cattle which usually do not enjoy long distance walks.

“It doesn’t allow us to harvest milk; the cows are not well fed. What is going on is almost torture to animals.

“If we can create a new environment for cattle, give them what they need, protect them from rustlers, the herdsmen will quickly discover that they are making far more money than what they are doing now,’’ Ogbe said.

Earlier, the Director of NAPRI, Prof. Clarence Lakpini, said pastoralists in the country had no fewer than 19.7 million cattle and 113.8 million sheep and goats which were currently grazing.

“We have a population of about 19.7 million cattle and total of 113.8 million sheep and goats. These are animals that graze and 90 per cent of these are owned by the pastoralists.

“These animals contribute a lot to the GDP of Nigeria. In fact, in the agricultural sector, it contributes 30 per cent of the National Agricultural GDP and of the National GDP, 3.2 per cent.’’

Lakpini also said that NAPRI had gone into partnership with various animal stakeholders to resolve the conflict between farmers and herdsmen across the country.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Good diagnosis to perennial problems but wrong, warped or selfish prescription that will worsen the problems. Never heard where a common wealth is appropriated and given out to a private business entity. Cattle rearing is a private business entity just like Poultry rearing and individual are expected to acquire lands for their ranching, period.

  2. What is wrong with Nigeria? Where in the world do you have “Cattle Colonies.” This is absolutely rubbish and nonsense. Cattle rearing is personal to individual owners and has nothing to do with either the state or federal government. I smell danger coming. Don’t be surprise to learn that the Northern leaders are behind these incessant killings to enable them form and establish “Cattle Colonies.” They created the problem to give way for a soft landing for this nonsense colonies. If the North wish to separate from the rest of us, they are free to do so.

  3. Who are the governors that agreed to establishment of the so called cattle colonies in their states? I hope the colonies are restricted to the north and no southern state is coerced to accept this evil policy.

  4. Is the agric minister sensitive to what MACBAN or Miyeti Allah is saying? The group has been openly saying that their cows are native ones that need to be moved about to be strong. Will the Federal government ban open grazing upon initiation of these so called cattle colonies? The creation of cattle colonies is but disguised creation of FULALocal government areas to ensure Fulani’s have a foothold in all the states of the federation if possible. It is an EVIL PLAN!

  5. cattle colonies is not possible in Nigeria ,cattle rearing is a personal business not owed by government, so how can u give my own land for someone else to make use of it,most of these farmers pay for the land either lease or rent or inherit,we have enough land in the northern part of this country then why are herdsmen terrorizing the farmers

  6. Nigeria is always looking for unworkable solutions. The country is a federation and operates capitalism. How then are we talking about cattle colonies. Where?

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