Federal Government has
explained the reason for its
planned establishment of cattle
colonies, saying it is a measure
to quickly curb the incessant
bloody clashes between farmers
and herdsmen.
Chief Audu Ogbeh, the
Minister of Agriculture and
Rural Development, said this
when Gov. Simon Lalong of
Plateau visited him in Abuja.
Mr Tolu Makinde, the Director,
Information, said this on
Thursday in a statement by Mrs
Oluwakemi Ogunmakinwa.
The minister noted that the
policy would not transfer
communal land ownership
to herdsmen wherever it was
established.
Ogbeh was reacting to fears
by some citizens that the policy
was an attempt by the Federal
Government to forcibly collect
land from citizens and hand
them over to herdsmen.
He noted that there was no
truth in speculations that the
government was conspiring to
grant supremacy over communal
land to herdsmen.
The minister commended
the Plateau Government for
its interests in developing
agriculture.
“Cattle colony is not using
herdsmen to colonise any state. It
is going to be done in partnership
with state governments that will
like to volunteer land for it.
“The Federal Government
will fund the project and those
wishing to benefit from it will
pay some fees.
“While ranching is more of
an individual venture for the
herdsmen and those wishing
to invest in the livestock sector,
cattle colonies is a larger project
where up to 40 ranchers can
share same facility that will be
provided by the government at a
reduced rate.
“Already, 16 states have
volunteered land,’’ he said.
The minister said the Federal
Government would soon hold
a stakeholders’ forum with the
herdsmen and other stakeholders
on the implementation of the
new policy.
Earlier, Lalong said that he was
at the ministry to understand the
new policy.
He said that the state would
key into the policy to maintain
peace in the state.
“I happen to be one of the
persons that keyed into the
ranching policy when it was
introduced.
‘‘We saw some lands in Plateau
and we provided them for the
implementation of the policy.
“The introduction of this policy
is of interest to us, that is why we
are always here.
“We also heard about the
introduction of another one, that
is the cattle colony and I said let
me still come back again. We will
also key into this policy,’’ he said.
Ogbeh had on Jan. 8, disclosed
the Federal Government’s plan
to establish cattle colonies in the
country.

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