From: AgroNature Nigeria
The Federal Government policy on cattle colonies appeared to have recorded mild success as the Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello at the weekend donated 15,000 hectares of land to support the policy.
The State governor, who visited the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Abuja to submit a letter for the handing over of the 15,000 hectares of land, said 10,000 hectares would be located in Ajaokuta Local Government area and 5,000 in Adavi LGA.
Bello explained that adequate sensitization has been carried out assuring supports from residents from the concerned local governments.
According to him, the ranches were a pilot project, and that the Fulani herdsmen will be brought into the two ranches over a period of time since there was no Anti-Grazing Law enacted by the State.
His Words: “The people of Kogi State have keyed into the cattle ranch project 100 per cent. The people are well sensitized have embraced the programme.
“We have gotten 15, 000 hectares of land from Ajaokuta Local Government Area and 5, 000 hectares of land from Adavi Local government Area of the State.
“The local communities are well sensitized and are ready to key into the programme. We are here to summit our letter on this to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. We are ready to be part of any other thing the government will want.
“We are also on the compensation process of those whose land are taken for the programme.”
The Agric Minister, Chief Audu Ogbeh lauded the Kogi governor for his generousity.
The Minister explained that contrary to claims, government had no plan to takeover lands and give to the Fulani herders, adding that mischievous people have been misinterpreting motive of the policy.
“It is not about foreigners coming in to colonise us. It is unfortunate that people have been mischievous about it. We hear all sorts of comments on the media about the issue of cattle colonies even in the religious circle.
“We are not planning to take land from states for Fulanis to occupy. Even somebody from Bayelsa State is rearing cows in his state, and the business is open to all Nigerians.
“We cannot continue to lament and say nothing can be done, but we have to do something because as a government we need peace. We don’t want the killings to continue”, Ogbeh noted, adding that “People say cattle rearing is a private business, but they have forgotten that government assist farmers of rice, maize, millet, groundnut, fish, goats, pigs, and others.
“The aim of the government is to solve the herdsmen-farmers clash, and we want state governments to key into it, which we wrote earlier to state governments, which 16 agreed to give land for cattle ranches, while some did not reply, and others refused.”