Audu Ogbeh, the minister of agriculture and rural development, says the ministry will begin the paddock development (growing of special grasses for cattle) in August. He said the ministry had started bringing the special seeds of grass (fodder seeds) into the country.
“The Saudi Arabia is asking that if Nigeria can grow enough grass, they will buy to feed their cows,” he said.
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2 months ago, the same Audu Ogbeh, told us that we were going to be importing grass to feed our own cattle soon! How did that decision change so fast?
He assured that with the paddock development, the clash between farmers and herdsmen in the country would be put to an end.
“The clash between farmers and herdsmen has been getting worse by the years and by the grace of God I will bring it to an end,” he said.
He said that no farmer would allow his crops to be eaten by cattle.
“No farmer in the world would like to plant his crops and arrive to see that cows have eaten everything up,” he said. He said that most of the conflicts were been perpetuated by Fulanis from some West African countries such as Senegal, Mauritania and Mali.
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Ogbeh cited an instance where some of the herdsmen arrested could not speak any Nigerian language.
He said that there was a need for the country to end the herdsmen roaming with cattle even it was a culture. He said that after the development of ranches, it would be an offence for any herdsmen to allow his cattle to roam the streets.
The minister said that land has been allocated to government in some states that would be used for ranches for herdsmen to acquire for their cattle.
I recall an while ago, when the former President Olusegun Obasanjo, wanted to commence the export of Cassava, Garri got really expensive! If we can produce grass on our won, then there wouldn’t be any need to import, right? But wouldn’t be right to first satisfy our own needs first before tending to those of the Saudis? Just saying.