The Federal Government is seeking collective efforts from the World Bank and West African nations to end conflicts emanating from cattle grazing.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh made the call on Thursday during a meeting with World Bank officials, led by the Vice President Africa Region, Mr. Mukhtar Diop in Abuja.
He said the problems of cattle movement, which had posed numerous clashes between farmers and herdsmen, needed sub regional intervention.
Ogbeh told the world bank delegates that the Federal Government seems to have shifted attention to other segments of farming such as rice, cotton, soya bean farmers, adding that, “Nobody had remembered to do anything for the cattle farmers, who now resorted to self- help that often leads to violence.”
According to him, cattle roaming usually deplete nutrients of the grazing cows, thereby reduces quality and quantity of milk and meat produced.
“It is time for West Africa to stop cattle roaming so that the production of milk will rise while the Fulani herdsmen will live normal life,” he stated.
The Minister also sought for support from the World Bank on agricultural value chain, packaging and standardisation of agricultural produce, Agricultural mechanisation and seed quality among others.
He said there was need for Nigeria to have an all- year- round farming practice by harvesting three crops of maize and two crops of rice annually in order to catch up with the needs of population growth which he put at 450 million by the year 2050.
He maintained that the Labour Intensive Family Enterprise (LIFE) of the Federal Government which is on course would create wealth and jobs to the rural youth and women as well as reduce rural-urban migration.
The Minister also disclosed that extension services centres would be open at every local government area in the country to educate and enlighten farmers on farming operations.
Earlier, Diop who led the delegation said the team visited the ministry to map out ways of assisting the country to
develop the agriculture sector.
Diop said his organisation saw vision of the present administration towards the development of agricultural sector and expressed the willingness of the World Bank to give necessary support.
He said the World Bank had developed and launched a Regional project which covers countries like Chad, Niger, Mali, Senegal and Burkina Faso in Agriculture, adding that Chad has a grazing area that had been identified as a one- stop shop which has specific points of access to water, irrigation services, educational services and other services to support farmers.
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