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At ECOWAS forum, experts canvass ranching, others

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Experts at an Econonic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have called for an urgent need to articulate a clear policy guideline on development of modern ranches by member states across the sub-region.

Speaking yesterday at a forum on herdsmen/farmers conflicts in Abuja, they maintained that West Africa had witnessed a fair share of conflicts, including civil wars, electoral violence among others.

According to Prof. Gani Joses Yoroms, a study had identified challenges faced by herdsmen and farmers as well as ecological problems leading to scarcity of land and the concomitant not-to-warm responses from governments.

 
He stressed that there was need to implement re-orientation and de-radicalisation programmes for affected communities and victims as part of post-conflict peace building efforts.

The don urged inclusion of pastoralism and agro-economy in curricula of training institutions in the sub- as well as the establishment of a National Transhumance Commission.
 
According to Yoroms, there was expediency for ECOWAS to activate the use of transhumance certificate for peaceful co-existence and development of ranches and grazing reserves across the sub-region.

 
He said: “There is need for member states to intensify measures to combat desertification and strengthen green walls in order to reduce large-scale movement of herdsmen to farming communities.”
 
Also speaking, Mr. Pato Pidemnewe noted that attention should be given to herdsmen, farmers conflicts on one hand, and proliferation of small arms and light weapons on the other.
 
He noted that ECOWAS comprises large and small countries where the large ones had always collaborated with the smaller ones to find solutions to challenges affecting the sub-region.
   
In their recommendations, they called for a review of national legislations in line with the convention on possession of arms and light weapons by civilians as well as manufacturers.

 
 


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