By Lawrence Olaoye
As a measure to stop the incessant clashes between farmers and the itinerary Fulani herdsmen in the country, the Federal Government is considering the approval of N100 billion for the establishment of mini modern ranches across the country.
The fund, according to the Committee on Grazing Reserves chaired by the Benue state governor, Gabriel Suswam, would be provided by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Suswam, who briefed newsmen after the National Executive Council (NEC)’s meeting said his committee’s reports highlighted critical issues to be considered and these include struggle for land and water resources by the Herdsmen and Farmers; uncontrolled influx of Nomadic Farmers into Nigeria and issues on grazing reserves in states.
According to him, his committee recommended that the CBN should provide seed funding of N100bn to assist states establish mini modern ranches across the Federation; that all grazing reserves/cattle routes already gazette and encroached upon should be recovered and improved upon taking into consideration the present day realities.
Others were that ranching and modern technologies of livestock production be established-meat processing and packaging e.g. Halal certified and that sensitization/education workshops be organized for herdsmen and farmers to build trust and confidence between the parties. The National Orientation Agency (NOA) and relevant MDAs were charged to handle this, he disclosed.
But the NEC, Suswam disclosed, discussed and amended some of the recommendations and appointed the Hon. Minister of National Planning, Minister of Agriculture and Benue State Governor to come up with the final framework for approval and implementation.
He also told journalists that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim, presented the Draft Report of the Presidential Technical Committee on Land Reform (PTCLR), which was reconstituted by Mr. President in November 2011.
The council however resolved that members should study the report, prepare inputs and present at the next meeting.