By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
The apex body of farmers in Nigeria, All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN, weekend, called on the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to provide more dams along grazing routes to prevent herder-farmer conflicts.
Speaking with Vanguard in a telephone chat, the National President, AFAN, Arc Kabir Ibrahim, said dams would be cardinal panacea to the protracted herder-farmer conflicts in the country.
Ibrahim said the conflict has taken too many lives following incessant attacks from both ends, hence the Federal Ministry of Water Resources should consider construction of dams to meet the water needs of both herders and farmers.
He said: “The Federal Ministry Water Resources should provide more dams in the rural areas targeting grazing routes augmenting the efforts of the states that way the facilities for animal drinking spots will be enhanced to reduce competition between animals and humans thereby mitigating or minimizing farmer-herder conflicts.”
The AFAN boss however, called for more effectiveness of the River Basin Development Authorities, RBDAs, in meeting food demands of Nigerians amidst high food prices.
“No, I don’t see River Basin Development Authorities meeting the food demands and I am not surprised at all because our demand is very huge due to our large population.
“It is work in progress and I appeal that the River Basins should attract more investments from the government and the private sector to work optimally”, he pointed.
Meanwhile, on meeting farmers’ water demands, he (Ibrahim) called for more investments in the agricultural and water sectors respectively for smallholder farmers who have remained the country’s powerhouse for food production.
“The Federal Ministries of Agriculture and Water Resources are to focus more on agricultural and water resources investments as required to meet the needs of the large population of especially the smallholder farmers”, he added.