The Bayelsa State Government on Wednesday said it established a cattle ranch at its Palm Estate in Yenagoa to check clashes between farmers and herdsmen rather than a colony.
Dode Wigg, the State Commissioner for Agriculture, disclosed this at an interactive session with stakeholders as part of activities to mark the sixth anniversary of Governor Seriake Dickson’s administration.
The commissioner said that the state adopted the ranch option and made available 250 acres of land cultivated with fodder grass to discourage open grazing.
He said that the ranch concept within the Bayelsa Palm Estate would ensure that the droppings from the cattle would provide natural fertiliser for the palm trees, adding that the state government retained whole ownership of the estate.
“We did not sell the Bayelsa Palm Estate to herdsmen or to anyone; what we did was to concession the Palm Estate to a private concern and we are reaping from that commercialisation policy.
“On a monthly basis, rather than inject money into the running of the estate, the state generates revenue and that has been consistent as the concessionaire has kept to the terms of the concession.
“Also, the Bayelsa Palm is not a cattle colony, it is a ranch concept with provision for a dairy farm, cattle breeding, abattoir as well as cattle market; it is meant to check open grazing and allowing cattle to roam around.
“The ranch remains wholly owned by Bayelsa Government; it was not given to herdsmen and it is not a holding area, it is a grazing area and that is what we did with Bayelsa Palm,” Wigg said.
Earlier, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, Bayelsa Commissioner for Information, had reiterated the state government’s commitment to self-sufficiency in food production.
Iworiso-Markson said that the food security policy of the government was anchored on empowering the Ministry of Agriculture to support farmers with improved seedlings and appropriate farming techniques.
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