Ganduje inaugurates committee to boost RUGA

GOVERNOR of Kano state, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has inaugurated a Stock Routes Demarcation Committee to further boost the implementation of the Federal Government’s Rural Grazing Area (RUGA) project in the state.

The governor noted that the committee would help to consolidate on the peaceful farmers/herders relationship that has made possible in the state through the establishment of the RUGA Settlement project.

Ganduje, inaugurated the committee recently, at the headquarters of the Kano Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (KNARDA) in Hadejia, Kano State.

According to Ganduje, the committee’s duties includes to supervise the state’s local governments efforts to identify areas where routes could be situated.

Other functions are to mobilise relevant stakeholders for the project, to assist KNARDA on the identification of potential routes, to improve community participation, to give security support and to assist with conflict mitigation.

The committee, to be led by the Managing Director of KNARDA, were drawn from government and security agencies, traditional institutions, farmers and herders groups as well as Fulani associations.

Speaking during the launch, Ganduje explained that the relationship between farmers and herders in the region used to be friendly.

He said: “If you look at history, in those days there was no rift between farmers and herdsmen.

“That was when farmers could invite herders to come to their farmlands and get food for their cattle. In return, farmers would get fertiliser for their farms from the visiting cattle.”

He, however, pointed out that this mutual coexistence was reversed as a result of the impact of climate change.

Ganduje submitted that troubles began when thousands of herders started migrating into Nigeria in search of economic trees to feed their herds.

The governor also identified rapid population growth as another contributory factor to the farmer-herder crisis.

“Because of the population growth, people began to encroach into the demarcated routes for cattle. With these two issues, the narrative changed,” he said.

He further stated that his administration decided to establish a RUGA Settlement at the Dan Soshiya Forest in Kiru Local Government Area in a bid to address the challenge.

He also disclosed that the state government sent 75 Fulani youths to Turkey to learn artificial insemination as part of efforts to change the orientation of cattle herders from a socio-cultural to a socio-economic one.

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