FG moves to end farmer/herdsmen clashes, cattle rustling

Ogbeh said the plan to address the challenges required a lot of finance, which was beyond the Federal Government’s budget.

Addressing newsmen in Abuja on Friday, Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the conference would end by Sept 14,

He noted that the dialogue was to fashion out ways to reposition the livestock sector.

Ogbeh listed some other issues to be addressed at the conference to include access to land, infrastructure, management strategies for sustainable livestock development and access to finance and markets.

He said the conference would feature state governors, World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), experts, ministries and stakeholder in the livestock industry to dialogue on the way forward in the sector.

The minister said the plan to address the challenges required a lot of finance, which was beyond the Federal Government’s budget hence the need to involve states and international partners.

Ogbeh, who estimated the daily consumption of cows across the country between 80,000 and 90,000, noted that the sector had been neglected.

He described the neglect as an `economic danger’ which would be faced if not adequately tackled urgently.

“The livestock subsector is bedeviled by many constraints like low productive breeds of livestock, conflicts.

“There is therefore the need to come up with new strategies to tackle these challenges.

“As a matter of fact, Nigeria is taking a bold step by breaking away from the traditional livestock rearing practices and embracing modern methods involving private sector in animal production, animal health care delivery, processing and marketing.

“Worrisome is the ability to tap into the abundant potentials hence, the subsector has not been fully explored in terms of supplying animal protein needs of Nigerians, poverty alleviation, revenue generation and foreign exchange.

“We want to put the matter before every Nigerian because we need to build dams and lakes. It is our problem and we must solve it,’’ he said.

According to him, if we succeed in proffering solution to these problems in Nigeria, we intend to call a regional conference to export the ideas to our neighbouring countries.

Ogbeh, who said that the Federal Government was considering ranching and cow colony options, disclosed that 13 states had offered about 5,000 hectares each to help actualise the plan.

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