President Bola Tinubu has received a recommendation to establish a ministry of livestock as part of the solution to the recurring herders/farmers clashes, modernising, and improving livestock production in the country.
The National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Umar Ganduje, announced this while briefing correspondents after leading the committee on Livestock Reforms to present its report to the president at the presidential villa in Abuja on Thursday.
He said the president is prepared to act on the recommendations in his determination to solve the problems associated with livestock in the country.
Ganduje said the report submitted “grew out of the urgent need to reform and develop the livestock industry and to provide solutions to the age-long conflicts between herders and farmers in Nigeria.”
He explained: “The low productivity of the sector has made Nigeria an import-dependent economy, draining scarce foreign reserves used for importing dairy, meat, and other livestock products.
“Similarly, the conflicts are resulting in killings of citizens and loss of livelihoods, further affecting peaceful coexistence in the country.
With increasing populations, ecological changes such as soil erosion and degradation of grazing areas, and changing climates, adopting innovative crops and livestock production practises is no longer a luxury but an essential investment that this people-centred administration under your leadership needs to vigorously pursue.
“There have been repeated attempts to develop the livestock industry with varying levels of failure and success.
“The adoption of improved production practises that will increase productivity and help the cattle owners to permanently settle has been abysmal due to many factors such as inadequate planning and funding of programmes, weak extension services, as well as other cultural, economic, and technological barriers.
“The persistence of these problems has allowed unhealthy competition and acrimony to grow among farmers and herders, resulting in violent conflicts across the country.”
He recalled that as the Governor of Kano State, his administration pursued deliberate efforts to promote the modernization of livestock production while at the same time strengthening local authorities to manage relationships and amicably resolve conflicts between the groups.
He added: “For this reason, Kano State remained among the most peaceful States in the country throughout our 8 years of governance.
“It is these and other related experiences that this Committee reviewed and analysed, while also drawing from varied experiences across the World to come out with practical recommendations for reforming the livestock industry at the national level.”