Fulani socio-cultural group, the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, has asked the Federal Government to budget the sum of N150bn for the ranching of cows, and the development of the entire livestock farming value chains in Nigeria.
Spokesman for the group, Saleh Alhassan, spoke on Wednesday to the PUNCH
According to him, ranching comes with many benefits including lesser risk and loss, adding that herdsmen are willing to rear cattle in a “modernised way”.
Alhassan, however, said the common herder does not have the resources to ranch his cows, adding that the infrastructure for ranching has to be put in place by the government for sedentary cattle rearing to be successfully implemented.
The Miyetti Allah spokesman also said attacks by herders were being exaggerated in the Southern part of the country to score political points.
He said, “This thing is exaggerated; it is not that it is not there but it is exaggerated to score political points and that is the danger of it.
“We have been having traditional farmers-herders conflicts. You can’t expect that if you have open grazing and you have open farming, there won’t be some friction. We are not saying we should fence farms. Supposing in certain areas when you farm, you fence your farm, it is also a solution but we are looking at it one way and we are thinking that because President (Muhammadu) Buhari is from Fulani background, the Fulanis are enjoying an advantage (but) they are not enjoying anything.”
Alhassan criticised FG’s National Livestock Transformation Plan, saying the programme has “technically” been “sabotaged” as the programme has a non-herder as head.
“Is it not a policy that they have been parroting from RUGA, Livestock, Ranching, have they implemented anyone? You can’t have a Livestock Transformation Plan and then the head of the programme is not a herder. It is technically sabotaging,” he said.
Asked to proffer solution to the herdsmen menace, the Miyetti Allah spokesman said, “For a start, the government can budget N150bn. It is not free money, this investment can be rolled in from 15 to 20 years to develop all the value chains.
“Look at what developed countries are getting from livestock farming. Check what Brazil, Netherlands and others are making from dairies. So, what stops us from doing that?
“All these money they are looting and taking to Dubai and other places, if they have invested it, even if it is on their private farms, wouldn’t it be a starting point? How much have the herders caused this country compared to the looters of our common resources that are being celebrated?” he added.