As part of its efforts to resolve the lingering conflict between farmers and herdsmen, the federal government has identified about 450 grazing reserves. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbe disclosed this in a townhall meeting on farmers/herders crisis in Abuja last week. He however, bemoaned slowness in tackling the never-ending crisis, calling for the urgent need to replicate Argentina model as a panacea for the festering feud between farmers and herdsmen in the country.
Also, Ogbe lamented that the situation in IDP camps was very severe in as much as they IDPs want to return home but have no home. The Agric Minister also disclosed that NEMA is planning a settlement for the IDPs and will also provide security them.
Speaking at the event, the Governor of Kebbi State, Sen. Atiku Bagudu has insisted that farmers/herders crisis is not unconnected to the existing land use problem in the country.
The governor noted that there was not enough land for the farmers to cultivate, as well as no enough water for fishermen to use, and also not enough land for the herdsmen to use, which has culminated in the lingering clashes between farmers and herdsmen.
He said that the farmers/herdsmen crisis is not a religious, ethnic or regional problem but rather bandits are cashing in on the situation to cause crisis in the country. “We are dealing with a land use problem. The farmers are not finding enough land to farm; the herdsmen are not finding enough land to use; fishermen are facing similar challenge.
“If we figure out how to do it right and every ethnic group will be happy, it will be a step in the right direction. We need more investment in order to help farmers to produce more yield per hectare, as well as we need more investment to help herdsmen to produce more yield per cow.
“The N10 billion released by President Muhammadu Buhari should be well managed by the Information Minister, DG of NEMA and other stakeholders to procure seedlings, fertilizers and other farm inputs for the displaced farmers in the troubled states,” he said.
In his remark, the Minister of Interior, Abdulraman Dambazzau has cautioned against failure to see the problem as a national issue. He said that most Nigerians have continued to see the problem as a crisis with religious and ethnic colorations, which is why the conflict has ceased to abate.
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