From Muhammad Ibrahim, Kaduna
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Adewumi Adesina yesterday said the federal government was working towards stopping movement of cattle within the country, in its effort to bring an end to recurring cases of cattle-rustling and pastorals/farmers clashes in the country.
It could be recalled that the conflicts between Fulani and farmers have so far claimed many lives and properties worth millions of Naira destroyed in the country, particularly in the North.
The minister disclosed this in Kaduna, in his speech at the opening ceremony of the International Conference on Security and Development Challenges of Patoralism in West and Central Africa, with the theme: “The Role of Pastoralists in Preventing Insurgency and Conflicts for Sustaining Peace and National Security”.
He explained that movement of animals without tracking systems for animals or record of the animals for traceability can no longer be sustained in the face of rising conflicts, criminality and insecurity.
“We must accept that, just like humans, cannot move between places without identification; it is no longer tenable for migrant pastoralists, whether local or foreign, to move without any identification.
“There is need for a regional solution. And we must think out of the box; old traditions must give way to new realities and challenges. Moving animals instead of beef can no longer be sustained.
“And we must accept that, just like cars cannot move without licenses or chassis number, the days that animals are without labels, their records and tracking are limited. As a government, we must change our approach.
“Our communities must change. And within ECOWAS, we must change. One fundamental change that must be made, which is structural, is that we must end the practice of moving animals. Rather, we should be moving beef, not animals”,
According to him, a digital system for registering all farmers has been set up, adding that so far, 15 million farmers with full bio-metric information has been registered.
“We must now register all pastoralists. In Nigeria today, we have set up a digital system for registering all our farmers. By this year, we have registered 15 million farmers, with full bio-metric information. Their information is being migrated and integrated with the National Identity Management System (NIMS). Farmers will now have identity cards with biometric chips. The same should now be done for all pastoralists”, he stated.