The federal government has said the long term neglect of cattle rearers in the country is responsible for the lingering crisis between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria.
The minister of Agriculture and rural development, Audu Ogbeh said this in Abuja on Monday during a meeting on the crisis between herdsmen and farmers.
He said “Over the years, we have not done much to look seriously into the issue of livestock development in the country.
“I am 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 have not done much for herdsman and that inability and omission on our part is resulting in the crises we are witnessing today.
“In Europe, every cow that is farmed gets a subsidy of 6 Euros per day, we have done next to nothing for the cattle rearers and as a result, their operations have become threats to other farmers.”
Ogbeh disclosed that the government is planning a programme called “cattle colonies” as part of efforts to end the crisis.
“At least, five thousand hectres of land would be made available, adequate water, adequate pasture would be made available.
“We also want to stop cattle rearers from roaming about. The cattle will be provided with water and adequate security by the Agro Rangers,” the minister added.
On his part, the minister of Interior Abdulrahman Dambazau while speaking during the opening ceremony, said government would not tolerate insecurity in any part of the country.
While noting that it was the function of the government to protect the citizens, he said “the current trend of situation is very bad for the North and Nigeria in general.”