Concerned Ron/Kulere People, a socio-cultural group in Jos, has advised the federal government to adopt livestock alimentation as a solution to the frequent herders/farmers clashes in the country.
Mr. Makut Macham, the spokesman of the group, gave this advice during a chat with newsmen in Jos on April 19.
Mr. Makut said “After deep reflection and a review of experiences of herders and crop farmers, we have come to a conclusion that livestock alimentation practice is the safest and most effective approach to resolving the attacks of herders on crop farmers in Nigeria. In simple terms, livestock alimentation practice involves a system of keeping animals within a confined space, and providing them with adequate nutritional and medical care without having to expose them to open grazing in the countryside for pasture.”
The group, representing the Ron/Kulere people, who have recently been attacked by suspected herdsmen, leaving about 30 people dead, over 1, 000 homes destroyed, several people missing and over 10, 000 others displaced in the Bokkos Local Government Area of Plateau State, believed that the adoption of the alimentation policy will effectively reduce the clashes between farmers and herdsmen.
Mr. Makut continued, “The proposed alimentation practice seeks to replicate the existing practices in poultry farming for cows, pigs, goats, sheep among others. This will require a transformation of the existing cattle paddocks, otherwise known as hoggo in fulfulde or shinge in Hausa, to feedlots. The alimentation practice or feedlot system of cattle breeding was successfully employed to resolve Tutsi/Hutu genocide in Rwanda and is also successfully practiced in Ethiopia.”
According to Macham, the alimentation policy has a strong potential to rouse a symbiosis between livestock herders and crop farmers, as well as spur the emergence of a new economy at the grassroots level.
He also proposed that for the policy to be a success, there is a need for massive public awareness campaign that will stress that the aim of the program is to put an end to the rampant attacks of herders on farmers in the country.
He maintained that, “In pursuing the livestock alimentation practice, government at every level would need to develop livestock-specific financing scheme and also provide subsidies as is done elsewhere in the world for agriculture. We are not a political group, and therefore call upon the concerned authorities to look into the proposed policy of livestock alimentation without prejudice.”
It has been reported that suspected herdsmen sacked the Agasha community in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State, resulting in the death of an elderly woman and many houses being set ablaze on Thursday morning.