It’s time to put an end to open grazing ― Ondo MACBAN

The Chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in Ondo state, Alhaji Bello Garba, has called for an end to open grazing in the country but called on government to provide soft landing for herders. 

Garba who stated this on Wednesday during a public hearing on a bill to regulate grazing of livestock and provide for the establishment of ranches, among other related issues said it is high time for herders to look for alternative to open grazing to put an end to frequent clashes between farmers and herders across the country. 

Garba who spoke through an interpreter specifically called on government to make provision for ranches as a way of putting an end to frequent clashes between herders and farmers.

He said the association would throw its weight behind any move to resolve the frequent crisis between herders and farmers saying the two group should be able to carry out their business without clashing. 

He disclosed that members of the association in the state have shown their readiness to register with the state government across the 18 local government areas as directed by governor Rotimi Akeredolu 

Also speaking, the Assistant Secretary of the MACBAN, Ibrahim Abdul-Rahman, said open grazing had become obsolete and needed to be banned.

He appealed to all stakeholders to embrace modern cattle rearing techniques, saying farmers and herders must allow peace to reign considering the importance of both parties to the nation’s growth.

However,  the Chairman of Ondo State Agricultural Commodities Association (OSACA) commended the steps taken by the state government, describing it as a step in the right direction, saying that a foundation had been laid upon which other processes would be.

Obaweya noted that the body language of the state government showed that it was ready to protect agriculture and agricultural practices and put an end to the lingering clashes between farmers and herdsmen.

The Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly,  Bamidele Oleyelogun, while declaring the public hearing open, said it was not targeted at any ethnic group but said it was aimed at enhancing peaceful coexistence in the state.

Oloyelogun noted that the story might not be the same today if serious attention had been given adequate attention. 

He said “It is for peace to reign in our state. This record will go a long way, having effects even on the children yet unborn. 

“Your memoranda and suggestions will be welcome. Please, feel free to air your views and bare your minds, but we must be objective and constructive.”

Oleyelogun said that grazing would be regulated with the provision of modern techniques in animal husbandry.

In his remarks, Chairman House Committee on Agriculture, Taofik Mohammed, said one of the reasons for the provision of the bill is to ensure peaceful atmosphere in the state.

He lamented that some criminally-minded people had been hiding under the farmers-herders crisis to perpetrate criminal activities in the state, saying this has a negative effect on the development of the state.

He said. “It is obvious that GDP will adversely drop whenever food and animal production is hampered,”

He called on all the participants to take full advantage of the hearing and come out with suggestions that will ensure peaceful coexistence between the herders and the farmers.

 

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