Farmer/Herder crisis: Institute of animal science advocate ranching to end feud

•Asks govt to halt exportation of maize, soybean

The Nigerian Institute of Animal Science (NIAS) has advocated for the introduction of ranches in order to end the lingering crisis between farmers and herdsmen.

The Institute said cattle remain a valuable national asset to the country and its production must be sustained.

Addressing journalists in Abuja, the Registrar/CEO of NIAS, Professor Eustace Iyayi, said the nation must move away from the transhumance mode to the modern and more sustainable ranching method of cattle production.

The Institute commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the establishment of the National Livestock Transformation Plan.

NIAS also commended the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for the introduction of Livestock Productivity and Resilience Support (L-PRES) which is being supported by the World Bank.

Among other solutions being proffered by the government, the Institute strongly advocates the establishment of ranches as a way of resolving the crisis.

“We must move away from the transhumance mode to the modern and more sustainable ranching method of cattle production,” Professor Iyayi said.

He said, “all gazetted grazing reserves (Adamawa, 31; Bauchi 27; Borno 15; Gombe 4; Jigawa 2; Kaduna 2; Kebbi 1; Kogi 1; Kwara 1; Nasarawa 7; Niger 2; Plateau 1; Sokoto 8; Taraba 9; Yobe 17; Zamafara 6, FCT 4 and Oyo 2: 140), plus the ungazetted ones giving a total of about 405 should be transformed to ranches.”

NIAS, however, recommended that a Commercial Pasture Production value chain should be established as part of the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) and modalities for its operation on a private-sector basis worked out.

“The Institute recommends that the government should work with the various Chambers of Commerce and Industry in the involvement of the private sector for operationalization of the ranching and commercial pasture projects.

“The Institute will be establishing model units at its National Livestock Training Center in Kachia, Kaduna State, for the breed improvement of our livestock. We aim to produce more meat and milk on less land towards the overall objective of lesser herd size and more income on less land.

“About 2000 community animal husbandry officers who are graduate animal scientists will be capacitated in the next three years to join our pool of experts in the Institute in Sustainable Commercial Ranching and Pasture Production.

“The Institute is ready to make its expertise available to the Federal and State Governments in the establishment of ranches and development of high yielding pasture for cattle production as a measure to solve the lingering conflict,” Professor Iyayi added.

On the scarcity of maize and Soybean, the Institute urged the government to immediately halt the exportation of soybean and maize and grant import permits for them at the official rate.

NIAS said the increasing prices of the two essential commodities has resulted in the increase in the price of finished feed by about 75per cent, which has led to the closure of small and medium-sized poultry farms thereby threatening about 10 million jobs.

“The Institute is working with critical stakeholders like Feed Industry Practitioners Association of Nigeria (FIPAN), Maize Growers Association and Research Institutes under the Triple Helix Model (Research-Development-Industry) to develop high yielding varieties on less land.

“The current maize yield of about 1-2 tons/ha cannot sustain our demand for human and livestock consumption. We should be doing up to 7-10 tons/ha,” Professor Iyayi said.

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Farmer/Herder crisis: Institute of animal science advocate ranching to end feud

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Nigeria recorded a slight reduction in the number of COVID-19 infections, recoveries and deaths last week, Tribune Online analysis shows.Farmer/Herder crisis: Institute of animal science advocate ranching to end feud

Last week (February 14 to 20), 5,849 new cases were reported in the country, the lowest in seven weeks.

The last time Nigeria recorded such a low figure was in the December 27 to January 2 week, when it reported 5,681 cases…Farmer/Herder crisis: Institute of animal science advocate ranching to end feud

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