The federal government plans to set up a cattle colony, as part of measures to prevent further attacks by herdsmen on farming communities nationwide.
Herdsmen will live and keep their cattle in each of the proposed cattle colonies, to be built on a 5,000 hectares of land.
Agriculture minister, Chief Audu Ogbeh, announced the project at a meeting convened by the Interior Minister, Lieutenant General Abdulrahman Dambazau, with governors of Benue, Kaduna, Taraba, Niger and Nasarawa states.
Others at the meeting were the Inspector General of Police, a top official of department of state security and police commissioners from Kaduna, Benue, Nasarawa, Niger and Taraba states.
The minister said agro ranger operatives will provide security for the proposed cattle colonies.
Ogbeh said, “The federal government is planning a programme called cattle colonies, not ranches but colonists, where at least 5000 hectares of land would be made available, adequate water and adequate pasture would be made available.
“We also want to stop cattle from roaming the streets, farms and other areas as they will henceforth be provided with water and adequate security by the rangers, adequate pasture milk collection and even security against rustlers to enable them live normal life. This has been successfully done in India, Ethiopia and even Brazil.
“Over the years, government has not done much to look seriously into the issue of livestock development, though people often ask why government and not herdsmen should manage their own livestock. We are sad to tell you that in the last 50 years until recently, we may have done enough for the rice farmer, the cassava farmer, the maize farmer, the cocoa farmer, but we haven’t done much for herdsmen and that inability and omission on our part is resulting in the crises we are witnessing today.
“In Europe, every cow farmer gets a subsidy of 6 Euros per day. We have done next to nothing for the cattle rearers and as a result its operation has become a threat to the existence of our farmers. That is what this communiqué will seek to resolve”.
The meeting aims at finding a lasting solution to renewed attacks by herdsmen in the country.
Several people had been killed in the recent attacks by herdsmen in Kaduna and Adamawa, as well as, by militia on Fulani communities in Taraba states.