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Conference Seeks Conflict Resolution Commission To Tackle Farmer-Herders Crisis

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As part of efforts to proffer practicable solution to the incessant crisis between farmers and herdsmen in the country, stakeholders at a conference held in Abuja has urged the Federal Government to create a Federal Peace and Conflict Resolution Commission.

This according to the conference would to address the prevalent farmers-herders crisis and other unrest in the country.

The stakeholders also urged the government to strengthen security arrangements to make both farmers and herders feel safe.

The conference noted that the proposal for grazing reserves should be embraced, beginning with consenting states. At the same time suggested that laws to protect the environment should be enacted and effectively implemented for the benefit of all stakeholders.

Also, the stakeholders opined that massive education which emphasises the value of combining crop farming with animal husbandry, and the need to transform grazing reserves into ranches building on models that already exist worldwide should be entrenched.

According to the recommendations contained in a communiqué issued after a two-day conference organized by The Nation Newspapers and TV Continental (TVC) News in Abuja.

The session was attended by representatives of farmers’ groups, cattle breeders and herders, frontline traditional rulers, state governments, security agencies, members of the diplomatic community as well as notable leaders of thought.

The communiqué, which was read by Dr. Kayode Samuel, indicated that the summit was conceived as an open forum to promote frank exchange of ideas on burning issues of national and international concern.

“The Summit was conceived as an open forum to promote frank exchange of ideas on burning issues of national and international concern, with particular regard to the herdsmen-farmers clashes across the country, with a view to seeking workable and enduring solutions.

“Government should set up a Federal Peace and Conflict Resolution Commission.

“There is a need to strengthen security arrangements to make both farmers and herders feel safe and to isolate the criminal elements.

“There is a need to resuscitate and massively fund the various river basin authorities especially in the north to enable growth of grass for animal grazing to minimize nomadic mobility across the country.

“Conflict mediation and peace building mechanisms must be put in place and avenues for constant dialogue between farmers and herders should be promoted.

“There is a need to embrace Climate Smart Agriculture that sustains both crop farming and animal breeding could provide a way out of the present crisis.

“The proposal for grazing reserves should be embraced, beginning with consenting states while the old bonds that encouraged cooperation need to be built upon.

“A comprehensive approach to addressing the environmental factors that drive herders southwards must be explored.

According to the communiqué, resource persons who discussed the keynote address, Professor Biodun Adeloye, Professor N.A. Gworgwor and Dr. Eustace Iyayi also offered their perspectives.

“They spoke of the need to modify nomadism to the advantage of the practitioners and counseled that the nomad needs to combine tilling with nomadism by producing crops like maize on which to nurture their herd.” Other specific recommendations include.

“Governments should draw up implementation timelines for whatever suggestions are proffered for a more harmonious farmers-herders relationship.”



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