Consequent to the losses recorded in Benue State, some parts of Taraba State, Adamawa State, etc, the Federal Government, through the minister of Agriculture, seems to have seen a window that needs to be taken seriously as an opportunity to address the perenial problem of herdsmen/farmers’ clashes.
The Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, has said that the lingering crisis between herdsmen and farmers in many parts of the country is because of the long term neglect of cattle rearers by the Federal government. According to him, successive governments in the last 50 years have focused their attention on other sectors in Agriculture like Rice, cassava farming, and others and have continuously neglected herdsmen and their needs.
“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” he said
Ogbeh said plans are on the way for cattle rearers to stop roaming the streets and that pastures will soon be made available.
“At least, five thousand hectres 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,” the minister added.