The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has suggested building alternative livestock value chains as a solution to the farmer/herder conflict in Nigeria.
Mr Fred Kafeero, FAO Country Representative, made the suggestion on Monday, in Akure, during a courtesy visit by FAO to Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State.
Kafeero explained that “crop residues and by-products, which are at the heart of the crisis”, could be utilised by the farmers, who would add value to them and generate commercial benefits.
According to him, the farmers have value for the crops they raise, in terms of residues, which they can transform and make palatable, useful and nutritious, which is then sold to the herders.
“The herders have indicated, by way of evidence-based outcomes, their willingness to procure from the farmers.
“We worked with other agencies within the framework of the United Nations to pilot this concept in three states of Niger, Kaduna and Taraba for now.
“It is very clear that the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) has suffered from misperceptions.
“And I think it is key to move quickly to reorient and raise awareness on what it stands to achieve in terms of developmental objectives, in terms of its capacity to transform the livestock sector generally.
“The real technical aspect of the pastoral livestock system has not been addressed in any talks, which is why there are misunderstanding and misgivings about it,” he said.
Earlier, Akeredolu had appealed to the FAO to intervene in the prevailing farmer/herder crisis in the country.
The governor, who said that there had been numerous discussions on the issue, expressed the belief that suggestions or interventions from the FAO would be positively received.
Akeredolu also expressed his belief in the programmes of the FAO in Agriculture, describing them as a catalyst for industrialisation.
He thanked the organisation for the good work done over the years in Nigeria at large, and in Ondo State, in particular, saying that his administration would continue to look forward to the good relationship enjoyed so far.