- The minister of agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, discloses that government plans to create environment for cattle to graze
- He says cattle contributes 6% to the GDP
- Governor Ortom calls for deployment of more security agents in Benue
The ongoing clashes between herdsmen and farmers will be worse in 2019 if nothing is done to create cattle ranches or provide better security against rustling, the minister of agriculture, Audu Ogbeh has warned.
The minister gave the warning on Monday, April 9, in Abuja after a meeting of the national food security council, Vanguard reports.
He disclosed that as part of the strategy to stop the clashes, the government was planning to create secured environment for cattle to graze, where they have water, grass and security against rustlers.
Ogbeh said: “We have to move the cattle to the good old grazing reserves and we just have to create environment for them; clusters of ranches where they have water, grass and security against rustlers. For nearly 40 years, we didn’t do much about cattle, we also forgot that cattle contribute 6% to GDP.
"The cheapest way of rearing cattle is by roaming around with them as you see now. If you go into a ranch, it's not cheap and government cannot subsidise cattle rearing like they do in Europe, where they subsidise every cow with €6 which is about N2,400. We cannot afford that.
"So, the thing is to create those ranches and the herdsmen are prepared to pay tax to support the programme. If we don’t do it, next year will be worse than this year I assure you."
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Meanwhile, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state has condemned renewed attacks on the people of the state by suspected herdsmen.
Speaking in a statement by his media adviser, Tahav Agerzua, the governor described the fresh attacks as barbaric, inhuman and unacceptable. He called on security agencies to be proactive in stopping further attacks in the state, The Punch reports.
Ortom said the state was not at war with any ethnic group and that no one should make inciting statements or resort to attacking any group.
He urged the people of the state to avoid acts of criminality and criminal elements who were out to perpetrate crime.
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