The Taraba Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr David Kassa says the lingering clashes between herdsmen and farmers in the country is derailing the Federal Government’s agriculture programmes.
Kassa said this at an interactive session with newsmen in Jalingo on Tuesday. According to him, the conflict if not checked can plunge the country into a food crisis.
The commissioner noted that the Federal Government’s appeal for people to go back to the farms in order to divert attention from oil had become counterproductive because of the lingering herdsmen/farmers crisis.
“The Federal Government should treat this issue as a national emergency.
“People have to go to the bushes to practice agriculture, but now, millions of farmers can’t go to farm because of herdsmen attacks, and food crisis is eminent in this country.
“Taraba and Benue are known for food production, but today millions of farmers in these states and beyond can’t go to their farms.
“It’s a thing of concern and the Federal Government must act fast to avert food crisis in the coming year,” he said.
Kassa appealed to the Federal Government to consider putting a legislation that would encourage establishment of ranches as permanent solution to the killings.
According to him, the open grazing prohibition law enacted by the Taraba government is part of deliberate efforts to end the incessant clashes between herders and farmers.
“The Federal Government, the UN and other agencies can come in and provide incentives for people to go into ranching, which is the best practice of cattle rearing all over the world today.
“Government can do that by encouraging herders to form cooperative societies as its being done in other crop practice to make it easy for government and the international organisations to easily identify them for intervention,” he said.
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