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Fulani Invasion: ‘Adopt livestock Alimentation’, Plateau Community Urges Govt


The Oasis Reporters

April 19, 2018

By Moses Gbande
Cattle in a ranch yield fifty litres of milk per day, as compared to the ones on free range (right), that produce one litre of milk per day.

The Nigerian Government has again been called upon to look into the proposed policy of livestock alimentation without prejudice to end the persistent farmers and herdsmen skirmishes.

The Ron/Kulere community of Bokkos Local Government Area of Plateau State, at home and in the diaspora disclosed this Thursday in Jos while addressing Newsmen on the evil attacks of suspected Fulani herdsmen that befell them since the 24th January and on 8th March 2018 in Daffo District.

Daffo District is a community of nine aboriginal Clans of Ron natives and a cluster of latter day migrants including the Fulani ethnic group.

Addressing Newsmen, the spokesperson of the group, Macham Makut appreciated Journalists for widely publicizing their concerns whenever they are called for upon for interactive sessions.

*Today, we have called you again having cried enough on the issues. We realize that constantly wailing and pouring out lamentations would not do us as much good as proffering a solution to the recurrent attacks of herders on crop farmers in Nigeria.

*We are very sad to note that even the nation’s security chiefs, the chief law enforcers of the federation as well as, including the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari have merely attempted to define the attacks; attributing it to some primordial and proprietary claims.

*We consider such level of posturing by key officials of the governance structure of the federation as a subterranean, nay direct way of stoking the crisis and allowing it to continue to fester rather than pushing for a credible incentive-based framework for resolution.

*No doubt, government at every level and many other stakeholders have called for an end to the herders-farmers conflict in Nigeria through the establishment of grazing reserves, cattle ranches and the suggestion for cattle colonies.

*These measures as appealing as they may seem, have shown from research to have long-term negative effects especially in a complex multi-ethnic society like ours. It is noteworthy that grazing reserves that were basically introduced in the 1960s have turned out as stop-gap initiatives.

“Ranching which appears popular requires a stocking density of two cows per hectare. In other words, a normal ranch should have not more than two cows in one hectare (that is, 10,000 square metres or 2 football fields).

“Considering rapid growth in population and the challenges of urbanization which are gradually increasing the demand for land utilisation in Nigeria, ranching might perhaps not be a viable option in the long-run.

“In addition, our socio-economic dynamics are obviously inimical to a system of animal husbandry such as cattle colony.
A case in point is the rearing of pigs by people whose beliefs support such within the same so called colony-space shared with cattle herders whose beliefs abhor pigs and the likes.

*We note that cattle colonies and the attendant socio-cultural and political consequences of nodal urbanisation indeed have enormous historical implications, which will invariably become an antithesis.

“In general, the aboriginal or homeland status over land is derived from rights of first settlement over a territory. This claim is obviously at the root of the resistance by crop farmers towards open grazing of livestock.

“Consequently, there is a compelling need to shift from the traditional practice of open grazing to a one that fosters peaceful coexistence.

” After deep reflection and a review of experiences livestock herders and crop farmers in other climes, we have come to a conclusion that livestock alimentation practice is the safest and most effective approach to resolving the attacks of herders on crop farmer in Nigeria.

“In simple terms, livestock alimentation practice involves a system of keeping animals within a confined space, and providing them with adequate nutritional and medical care without having to expose them to open grazing in the countryside for pasture.

“The proposed alimentation practice seeks to replicate the existing practices in poultry farming for cows, pigs, goats, and sheep among others.

“This will require a transformation of the existing cattle paddocks otherwise known as hoggo in ‘Fulfulde’ or ‘Shinge’ in Hausa to feedlots. The alimentation practice or feedlot system of cattle breeding was successfully employed to resolve Tutsi/Hutu genocide in Rwanda.

“The proposed policy has a strong potential to rouse a symbiosis between livestock herders and crop farmers as well as spur the emergence of a new economy at the grassroots.

“In pursuing the livestock alimentation practice, government at every level would need to develop livestock-specific financing scheme and also provide subsidies as is done elsewhere in the world for agriculture.

“In addition, livestock-specific infrastructure would need to be put in place value chains in livestock breeding.
Indeed, massive public awareness campaign on livestock alimentation practice is required for the policy being advocated to be a success.

“This is where the sustained partnership of the media and leaders of all relevant stakeholders including religious, traditional and interest groups becomes critical.

“We strongly believe that the presence of you gentlemen of the press and your continued support would do a lot in driving this advocacy to success”.


Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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