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Farmers- Herder Clash: Tinubu  Creates  Ministry Of Livestock Development

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President Bola Tinubu has approved the creation of a new Ministry of Livestock Development.

This came as he inaugurated the Renewed Hope livestock reform implementation committee at the State House, Abuja, on Tuesday.

The committee is mandated to provide sector-focused solutions to address the age-long farmers-herders crisis.

On September 14, 2023, the National Livestock Reforms Committee recommended that Tinubu create a “Ministry of Livestock Resources” to, among other deliverables, reduce the decades-long gory conflict between farmers and nomadic cattle herders nationwide.

Former Kano State Governor and Chairman of the All Progressives Congress Chairman, Abdullahi Ganduje, disclosed this to State House Correspondents shortly after he led the committee in an audience with the President at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.

It formed part of 21 recommendations captured in a document submitted to the President to enhance the Federal Government’s holistic response to the lingering cases of bloodshed.

The document spelt details of the proposed solutions where the committee advocated a reform agenda examining conflict mitigation and resource management.

“This agenda should include the establishment and resuscitation of grazing reserves as suggested by many experts and well-meaning Nigerians and other methods of land utilisation.

“Create the Ministry of Livestock Resources in line with practice in many other West African countries. In the alternative, Federal and State Governments should expand the scope of existing Departments of Livestock Production to address the broader needs of the industry,” it read.

Ganduje, who explained the complexity of the challenge at the time, said that the government’s approach must address the four kinds of herders: those who settle at home, nomadic herdsmen traversing the country, those from neighbouring West African countries as well as those who have settled among certain ethnic tribes and indigenized.

He lamented the sector’s low productivity, saying it made Nigeria import-dependent, draining scarce foreign reserves for importing dairy, meat, and other livestock products.

Similarly, Ganduje argued that the conflicts are resulting in killings of citizens and loss of livelihoods, further affecting peaceful coexistence in the country.

“The Report grew out of the urgent need to reform and develop the livestock industry and to provide solutions to the age-long conflicts between herders and farmers in Nigeria.

“But to find the solution to achieve the desired goals, you’ll need a strong institution.

“We recommended the establishment of the Ministry of Livestock and subsequent agencies so that various aspects of the recommendations will have appropriate institutions for implementation,” the APC helmsman explained 10 months ago.

He noted that the committee also recommended a funding source, including inflows from international organisations, the private sector, and the government.

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