- The herdsmen/farmers clashes may likely worsen by next year, if ranches are not established, according to the National Food Security Council
- The Council further urged President Buhari to quickly approve the establishment and training of agro-rangers to check the clashes
- The minister of agriculture also echoed the council’s warning, as he pointed out that ranches need to be set up
The National Food Security Council has warned that if efforts are not intensified to create cattle ranches or provide better security against rustling in the country, the deadly clashes between farmers and herdsmen could worsen by 2019.
According to The Nation, the warning was given on Monday, April 9, during a meeting at the Presidential Villa which was chaired by the Kebbi state governor, Atiku Bagudu.
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NAIJ.com gathers that the Council urged President Muhammadu Buhari to quickly approve the establishment and training of agro-rangers who would serve as a special unit to assist security agencies check the clashes between herdsmen and farmers.
The minister of agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, was also present at the meeting; including Governors Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), and Simon Lalong (Plateau).
After the meeting, Ogbeh told newsmen that as part of the strategy to stop the clashes, the government was planning to create secured environment for cattle to graze.
"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 six percent 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 is not cheap and government cannot subsidize cattle rearing like they do in Europe, where they subsidize 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."
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun state stated that herdsmen must embrace cattle ranching in order to put an end to their incessant clashes with farmers.
The governor made his comments while interacting with the management and students of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti. He also appealed to Nigerians to stop attaching ethnic sentiments into the killings by suspected herdsmen in the country.
Nigerian herdsmen vs Nigerian farmers - on NAIJ.com TV: