‘Graz­ing re­serves will not solve farm­ers/ herders clash’

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Chris Agabi, La­gos

The es­tab­lish­ment of graz­ing re­serves and routes across the coun­try is coun­ter­pro­duc­tive and doesn’t re­flect the mod­ern prac­tices in an­i­mal hus­bandry, the Tiv Pro­fes­sion­als As­so­ci­a­tion (TPA), La­gos State chap­ter, has said.

Ris­ing from its monthly meet­ing held in La­gos at the weekend, the group faulted the Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture and Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment, Dr. Ak­in­wumi Adesina, for pre­fer­ring graz­ing re­serves to ranches, which ac­cord­ing to it is the most eco­nomic and sus­tain­able model glob­ally.

The min­is­ter had on Fri­day in­au­gu­rated a tech­ni­cal com­mit­tee on graz­ing re­serves in Nigeria. Ac­cord­ing to the min­is­ter, the com­mit­tee would work out modal­i­ties for es­tab­lish­ing additional graz­ing re­serves across the coun­try to fore­stall fu­ture clashes be­tween herds­men and farm­ers.

But TPA said graz­ing re­serves won’t solve the peren­nial herder­famer cri­sis across Nigeria but would ex­ac­er­bate it as there would be recurring con­flicts from time to time.

In the com­mu­niqué is­sued at the end of the meet­ing and signed by the pres­i­dent, Dr. Bem Vanger­wua, the group con­demned the call for the es­tab­lish­ment of graz­ing routes/re­serves across coun­try as a so­lu­tion to the herder­farmer cri­sis.

“This so­lu­tion is ar­chaic, un­sus­tain­able and must be dis­coun­te­nanced. The best so­lu­tion, and the mod­ern/civ­i­lized so­lu­tion, is for herders to ac­quire land and build ranches for their cat­tle. This is more prac­ti­cal and more eco­nom­i­cally vi­able for an­i­mal hus­bandry as the an­i­mals would have more ac­cess to qual­ity care. This would make them yield bet­ter and the keep­ers would have bet­ter ac­cess to fa­cil­i­ties. Good news is that with tech­nol­ogy and ro­bust ir­ri­ga­tion, ranches can thrive any­where in Nigeria, even in the desert north,” the group said.

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