Speaker of House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has called for deliberate and proactive steps to end the incessant farmers and herdsmen clashes across Nigeria, which he said could break the country’s unity.
Dogara made the observation on Tuesday at the public hearing on the motion on the urgent need to tackle the frequent clashes between herdsmen, farmers and their host communities in Nigeria, with the introduction of micro irrigation (drip irrigation) for farmers in Gombi/Hong Federal Constituency of Adamawa State and in other parts of Nigeria, held by House Committee on Agricultural Production and Services.
Dogara, represented by Onyema Chukwuka, assured that the Committee and stakeholders would make appropriate recommendations that would be of immense benefit to the country.
“This will go a long way in guiding the House in the enactment of appropriate legislation that will guarantee peaceful co-existence among the rural communities, provide affordable credit to Nigerian farmers,” he said.
“To enable the farmer to procure fertilizer and other farm inputs with minimum effort, provide enabling environment for all season farming, ensure increased agricultural production both as a means of guaranteeing internal food security and diversifying the economy from over dependence on oil, among many other prospects.”
In his presentation, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbe, expressed concern over the criticism trailing the proposed importation of grasses for cattle, especially on social media, and warned that the challenge might worsen if no action was taken in checkmating the conflict.
Ogbe added that 12 states of the 36 states contacted by Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development have already confirmed readiness to partner on the grazing and irrigation initiatives, adding that nine states have agreed to provide 5,000 hectares of land each for the project.
He added that private sector investors had started making money from the grazing programme, as the Federal Government in partnership with 70,000 rice farmers in Kebbi State had concluded arrangement to produce 1.5 million livestock feed for cattle through rice stalk.
In his remarks, Mohammed Munguno, Chairman, House Committee on Agricultural Production and Services, declared that the Committee will help to nip in the bud the looming and totally eradicate the clashes because it has the potential of stalling diversification and good security as well as threaten the bedrock of the entity called Nigeria.