Incessant herdsmen attacks affecting food production, Ekiti govt raises the alarm

The Ekiti State government has raised the alarm that the incessant attacks on farmers by suspected herdsmen is contributing to the decline in food production in the state.

The Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Olabode Adetoyi, who lamented the attacks and general insecurity by the herdsmen on farms, said many farmers are running away from their farms over the fear of being killed or kidnapped.

Adetoyi who spoke in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, on Thursday, during the commencement of registration of herdsmen and farmers in the state, said the exercise apart from being an opportunity to fish out criminal elements, would ensure the security of lives and property and as well increase crop food production.

He warned that stiff penalties would be meted out to anyone who refused to register and get the identity card in line with the stipulations of the state Anti-Grazing Law.

He said: “Part of the essence of the registration is to increase food security in Ekiti State. The food rate is just growing at 2.5 per cent, our population is increasing at 2.8 to 3 per cent, the food requirement is at 3 or 3.2 per cent.

“The essence of this now is that there is a demand-supply gap and we need to close it. What is causing it is insecurity and we want to tackle it headlong in Ekiti State so that people can be able to go back to the farms and produce in higher quantity and quantity.

“In Ekiti State now, under the National Livestock Transformation Plan, we are bringing back our cattle ranch settlements at Oke Ako and Irele for whoever wants to graze their cattle. They will register there and provision will be made over there too.”

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The commissioner said other steps being taken by the state government to ensure lasting peace between herders and farmers included “ban on night grazing and using under-aged herders in Ekiti State. I will implore the herders not to run foul of the Anti-Grazing Law.

“We want peace in Ekiti and with this registration, we are forging ahead to ensure permanent peace between herders and crop farmers,” he said.

The Special Adviser to Governor Kayode Fayemi on Security Matters, Brigadier General Ebenezar Ogundana (retd), said that with the registration, “We intend to know who is staying with us legitimately in the state. Anybody who does not want to register will not have a place to stay here.

Ogundana, who said that it was always difficult tracing the source of the incessant attacks to any domain, added, “But with this development now, it brings a sense of responsibility so that herders will know their cattle should not destroy farms and farmer will no longer attack cattle.”

The Seriki Fulani and Miyetti Allah leader, Alhaji Adamu Abashe, and the State Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Alagbada Adeniran, praised the registration exercise.

While Abashe sought unity among the various ethnic nationalities promising that he would hand over any herdsmen who refused to register to the state government, Alagbada suggested that time is ripe for the herders to embrace modern methods of cattle rearing through ranching.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Incessant herdsmen attacks affecting food production, Ekiti govt raises the alarm

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