Three states are ready for the take off of the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) of National Economic Council (NEC), Gov. Dave Umahi of Ebonyi has disclosed.
Umahi, who is the Chairman of NEC’s Sub-committee on Farmer-Herder Crisis, spoke after the committee’s meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The vice president is the chairman of NEC.
He said that NLTP was for willing states which he listed as Adamawa, Plateau and Nasarawa.
According to the governor, the sub-committee has a mandate of resolving the lingering conflicts between farmers and herders.
“It is just a furtherance of our committee’s programmes towards the implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) of NEC.
“And so, we are getting there, we have penciled down three states that we have evaluated; Adamawa, Plateau and Nasarawa; and so, we are going ahead to ask them to submit their programmes and costing for implementation.
“We have a clear mandate; one is that this programme is going to resolve to a very large extent, the farmers-herders conflict.
“And so, if we reserve some of the grazing reserves especially in the North for willing states, we are going to see these conflicts come down; and then also a modern way of cow rearing for greater benefit.’’
Umahi, said that in the three states, the sub-committee had spoken to all the people inside the grazing reserves; the traditional rulers, the district heads and the population within that location.
He said that they were willing to go with NLTP.
“In this programme, you are going to have some farmers within the grazing reserves doing their farming and of course, the herders doing theirs; of course there is going to be a demarcation.
“The emphasis still remains that it is for willing states; even if you have grazing reserve like some grazing reserves in the North and the state is not willing to key into it, it not compulsory.’’
On rice production, he said that Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was rising because of improved rice production.
He said that rice production was getting help from the Federal Government and CBN including the fertilizer programme.
“So, there is no doubt that our GDP is rising and the youths are finding work to do.
“The programme of rice production in Nigeria is quite a success; people are politicising it; it is like you mount a road block and then, the criminals will turn around and engage people to start shouting that you are dehumanising the people.
“There is food everywhere and I have used my state as an example and my in-laws and brother, the governor of Nasarawa State; there is no time that trucks ever came to buy rice at the local market, the mills and exhausted all the rice; that is an index that we have attained rice food sufficiency in Nigeria.
“So, forget about those who want to import rice and they are making all kinds of noise,’’ he said.
Umahi said that rice production had become sustainable because it was profitable.
He added that aside being profitable, people are also embracing modern way of agriculture and there funding for it.