Says 500, 000 hectares of land set for take-off
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
The National President, All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN, Arc Kabir Ibrahim, Wednesday, disclosed that Federal Government’s National Livestock Transformation Plan, NLTP, is on course despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ibrahim made the disclosure while speaking with Vanguard on the current state of the NLTP, which according to him, he was involved as an architect in the NLTP after the government unveiled the plan, which he gave a proposal for resettlement, and a lot of data was collected from Nasarawa and Plateau States, then later the Minister of Agriculture said 200, 000 hectares of land in Gombe State to settle pastoralists.
It may be recalled that the NLTP was conceptualized and initiated by the National Economic Council, NEC, as an intervention programmed aimed to address the incessant herders/farmers’ conflict across the country.
The initiative came up when there was an outcry against the proposed controversial RUGA project, which the Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, clarified that the NLTP was different from the RUGA settlement project, which was dropped later by the government. Also, NEC approved N100 billion as a take-off fund for the commencement of the NLTP.
He said: “The National Livestock Transformation Programme, NLTP, is on course but was slowed down by the Coronavirus outbreak. We are waiting for the COVID-19 pandemic to end.
“The enumeration has been completed. In the gazette grazing reserves there are some settlements there so you have to take note of all those settlements so that you resettle them.
“I don’t think there are any other delays to the programme except for the global pandemic, but soon everything about the programme will be on board.
“Meanwhile virtual meetings are ongoing on the NLTP, and also Governors of Nasarawa, Plateau, Adamawa, and Gombe are already in the process of implementing the NLTP. There are an estimated 500,000 hectares of gazetted grazing reserves involved.
“The frontline States of banditry and farmer/herder clashes of Katsina, Zamfara, and Sokoto are being appraised by a donor intent on working on resettling the pastoralists in line with the NLTP, because everybody thinks banditry is back-to-back with the cattle rustling and the herder-farmer clash, and they think there is an encroachment on the grazing land and reserves of the pastoralists that is why there are skirmishes between farmers and herders.
“I have worked on the Gwongoshi reserve in Adamawa, and the in the plan we settlements for them, power supply, water supply, ranches with modern facilities, schools, access to churches and mosques, road network, and others.”
According to him within 18 months the facility should be completed, added that the NLTP will go a long way to settle herder-farmer clashes in the country.
He also stated that it is a private-sector project open for investment, which already is functional in Kaduna where Dano Milk is having such a facility.
Meanwhile according to the farmers’ boss the leadership of Miyetti Allah, have agreed and accepted the project which is ranching, because it will solve the problem of moving with cattle in search of pastures, hence movement with the cattle would not be necessary anymore as far as the project is properly handled.