The Federal Government says it is committed to permanently bringing a lasting solution to the farmers-herders’ conflicts which have often produced violent and expensive consequences.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono stated this at the 44th Regular Meeting of the National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development held today (June 17, 2021) in Abuja.
Speaking on the theme ‘Nigeria’s agriculture and food security in the face of COVID – 19, floods and insecurity,’ Nanono said NLTP, when fully implemented would bring an end to the incessant clashes between the farmers and herdsmen and at the same time introduce the herders to the modern way of raising cattle.
He said, “We are all aware of the troubles that our nation is going through with respect to the farmers-herders clashes which have often produced violent and expensive consequences. This administration is more committed than ever to resolve this problem on a more permanent solution.
“The National Livestock Transformation Plan has been adjudged worldwide to be a well-conceived project which seeks to transform our livestock sector from nomadic-dependent sector into an organized ranching one.
“To this end, 22 states and the Federal Capital Territory have registered with the NLTP Office out of which 10 states have created their own teams which have been trained by the federal office. Seven of these 10 states have also earmarked about 19 grazing reserves for the implementation of the NLTP, with a total land size of approximately 400,00 hectares.
“It is therefore safe to say that the NLTP, when fully implemented will bring an end to the incessant clashes between the farmers and herdsmen and at the same time introduce the herders to the modern way of raising cattle, with all the added benefits of improved feeding, improved animal and human health, genetic improvement, value addition and better socio-economic standing for all participants.”
The minister also noted that agricultural productivity can only improve through mechanization of production activities.
“In our effort to improve the agricultural production profile of the country, we have entered into a partnership with the government of Brazil through one of their foremost technology transfer institutions, the Fundacao Getulio Vargas (FGV).
“This partnership has yielded an agricultural mechanisation loan to the tune of nine hundred and ninety-five million euros(€995m),” he said.
He spoke of a target to improve on the export front, saying necessary support was being given for increase in the export of agricultural commodities like sesame, hibiscus, cotton and sorghum.
“The Nigerian Export Promotion Council has been working with the Ministry of Agriculture to exploit our strategic advantage in the production of these commodities, improving our production protocols to conform with internationally acceptable standards, maintenance of an exporters directory and exporter certificate verification portal, generation of product map and improving our visibility through the attendance of international trade shows.
“All this is geared towards improving our export profile thereby improving our forex earning capacity which is necessary at this period of oil market volatility,” he added.
Also speaking, the Minister of State for Agriculture, Hon Mustapha Baba Shehuri, said the challenge associated with COVID-19 actually changed the global landscape, leaving the nation with little or no choice to comply with all the various form of domestic and international protocols to shift the meeting to a safe and convenient time.