Gombe State government has reinstated commitment to working in synergy with the federal government and other relevant agencies to ensure the smooth implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Programme which seeks to boost the production of livestock and its value chain in the state and the country at large.
The state commissioner for Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, Muhammad Magaji Gettado, spoke when he undertook a tour of Wawa-Zange grazing reserve in a string of visits to inspect completed and ongoing projects at the colony to make it habitable for herders and their animals.
He assured of the determination of Gombe state government to transform the Wawa-Zange grazing reserve as a way of keying into the vision of the National Livestock Transformation programme of the federal government.
Sites inspected by the commissioner included the completed 20-bed capacity hospital, the ongoing construction of a veterinary clinic and large expanse of ware hay currently being nurtured to maturity. Other areas visited by the Commissioner and members of his entourage included the already dredged dams located at the grazing reserve settlements centre and the one in Galumji recently awarded by the administration of Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya to harvest more rain water for the benefit of the livestock.
The commissioner, who expressed satisfaction with the level of work at the grazing reserve, however challenged the contractor handling the veterinary clinic to speed up work so that herders can begin to enjoy services to be provided there.
He said when eventually completed, the grazing reserve will house 6 hospitals, 6 veterinary clinics, a milk collection centre, 16 boreholes and a modern abattoir to add up to the existing schools for nomadic education.
“Gombe State Government will leave nothing to chance. We will employ health workers and veterinary staff to man each facility when completed and ready for use and we are going to equip these facilities with state of the art equipment”.
He said Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya is committed to the successful completion of the project hence the award of contract for the dredging of two earth dams which were left unattended to since it was dug some 40 years ago.
Giving commendation in this regard when the commissioner and his entourage visited him at his palace, the Emir of Dukku, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Haruna Abdulkadir Rashid II, said his emirate council is in full support of the initiative because of the fact that if fully implemented, the programme will not only shiel herders from risky distant travels by foot, but will also curtail the perennial farmers/herders clashes.
The traditional ruler particularly praised Governor Yahaya’s passion and determination towards ensuring the revival of Wawa-Zange grazing reserve and for his wonderful policies targeted at revamping agricultural activities and livestock production in the state.
Governor Yahaya had, while featuring in a special NTA’s current affairs programme, Tuesday Live, last week said his administration is working assiduously to explore various value chain opportunities in the livestock sector through the planned dedication of about 250 hectares in the proposed Gombe industrial park for agricultural industrial cluster.
He maintained that Gombe was among the first states to key into federal government’s Livestock Transformation Project, which identified the Wawa-Zange grazing reserve as the pilot site.
He said the state was taking maximum advantage of the grazing reserve, which is a gazetted reserve with over 140, 000 hectares and carrying capacity of about 2 million heads of cattle and other small ruminants.