By Dipo Olowookere
A local organising committee on the National Conference for Livestock Development has been inaugurated by the Federal Government to look into the major causes of the incessant clashes between farmers/herdsmen in some parts of the country.
The panel was inaugurated yesterday by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Audu Ogbeh, in Abuja.
The Minister explained that the committee was set up as part of the government’s determination to end the regular clashes, which have resulted in huge loss of lives, crops and properties worth billions of Naira.
“The need to keep our cattle in secured colonies will afford us the opportunities to curtail the incessant farmers/herdsmen clashes as well as embark on systematic cattle breed improvement,” Mr Ogbeh said.
The Minister thanked the committee members for their commitment toward sustainable development of the livestock subsector, the Permanent Secretary and all Directors of the Ministry for their continued support of the Policy drive.
He said transforming grazing reserve to ranches, was as a result of the recommendation of the 3-day stakeholders policy dialogue held in Kaduna in April 2017 which needed to be presented to a larger audience at a National Forum where Ministers of Agriculture from the sub region will be in attendance.
Mr Ogbeh also said there is need to expand the audience to consider the technical recommendations of the policy dialogue due to the fact that similar challenges are being faced by our immediate neighbours on the continued clashes between farmers and herdsmen.
He then urged members to organize the conference with all necessary professionalism where we can consider the Kaduna recommendations and agree on which way to go forward on cattle grazing as well as overall livestock development in Nigeria.
Chairman of the panel and Director Veterinary, Dr Gidion Mshebwala, assured the Minister that they will bring their individual and collective skill and experience in preparing the National Conference on Livestock Development as the Minister directed and possibly come out with a draft national blue print for livestock development that will be all encompassing and address issues related to livestock farming.
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