The Delta State government has said it was not acquiring lands for herdsmen as wrongly envisaged by the state chapter of Cattle Dealers Association, (CDA).
This is contrary to the information in the public that the state would acquire land for the purpose of establishing ranches since CDA said the 5,000 square metres designated as grazing area was grossly inadequate.
The state’s commissioner for information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, said in Asaba that the bill before the State Assembly was for the regulation of livestock breeding, rearing and marketing.
He stated that ranching like any other business was a private concern and therefore anyone interested in establishing ranches in any part of the state was free to acquire land for the said purpose in accordance with relevant laws that regulate private ownership of any legitimate business.
He urged Deltans and the general public to disregard the earlier information that government was providing land for herdsmen as alternative to ban on open grazing.
Following the move to ban open grazing of cattle in Delta State, the state chapter of the Cattle Dealers Association had demanded at least 30,000 square metres of land in each of the 25 local government areas of the state, totaling 750,000 square metres.
But CDA in a memorandum signed by the chairman, Alhaji Musa Shuwa, lamented that the 5,000 square metres designated as grazing area contained in the draft bill was grossly inadequate during a public hearing on a bill to ban open grazing in the state. He said the provision of lands by the state government would help them stop open grazing.
At the hearing organised by the Delta State House of Assembly’s joint committee on special bills and that of agriculture and natural resources, Shuwa said at present, the association maintained livestock (cattle) markets in seven towns in the state, adding that the smallest was situated on a parcel of land measuring about 4,500 square metres, while the biggest was about 7,000 square metres.