Audu Ogbeh, the Nigerian minister for agriculture and rural development, has said government’s efforts to change the grazing patterns adopted by herdsmen were aimed at resolving farmers-herdsmen clashes in the country, according a news service report.
Speaking to newsmen on Tuesday in Gombe, the minister said the government was determined to forestall the menace through provision of standard grazing facilities, adding that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) was working to get the President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval to acquire the facilities.
According to him, the new grazing reserve, which has come under public criticisms, will not only contain the clash but also guarantee better operating and living conditions for herders and shore up the country’s milk production.
“We are changing the pattern of cattle rearing to meet best global standards and address the farmers-herders clashes. I know that what the herders are doing now is what they are used to. To them, the arrangement is cheaper because it is easier to move the cows around. Apart from the fact that the old method of grazing is the major cause of the clashes we now experience, it is also a threat to the herders. So, the new grazing arrangement will lead to a win-win situation for all. We are saying it is time to change that pattern of rearing. So, we are reopening the old grazing reserves to meet the standards anywhere in the world,” he said.
Ogbeh who also expressed disappointment in the fact that the Nigerian milk production per cow remained at one litre per day against 40 litres obtainable in Europe said an average cow would release about 25 litres per day under the new system.
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