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Farm settlement users can do feedlots for cattle, says Oyo govt

By Rotimi Agboluaje, Ibadan
30 November 2021   |   4:05 am
The Oyo State government has said it has no budgetary provision or plan to invest in ranches, but individuals with allocations in the state farm settlements being upgraded can incorporate feedlots for cattle rearing.

The Oyo State government has said it has no budgetary provision or plan to invest in ranches, but individuals with allocations in the state farm settlements being upgraded can incorporate feedlots for cattle rearing.

This was disclosed by the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, Adeniyi Adebisi.

He said the government would encourage inclusion of feedlots in the farm hubs being provided to make the Anti-Open Grazing Law effective.

Adebisi also hinted on the possibility of public-private partnership (PPP) in ranch development and management.

He said: “The government will provide the facilities to make the anti-open grazing law effective. The government will provide ranching in form of public-private partnership (PPP) arrangements. The investors will meet and interface with the government to make it effective. It is more or less a PPP arrangement.

“All areas of agriculture would be there. There will be ranches (feedlots). In the farm settlements. We will welcome investors who can now specialise in the area they want. The government will rent out the places and whatever they want to do there, they would create or carve it out and pay to the state government.”

It will be recalled that the Nigerian Southern Governors’ Forum, at its meeting on 16, September 2021, held in the Government House, Enugu, Enugu State, reviewed the state of the nation and the progress of implementation of the decisions reached in its previous meetings.

In one of their seven-point resolutions, the governors “expressed satisfaction with the rate at which the states in the Southern Nigeria are enacting or amending the Anti-Open Grazing Laws, which align with the uniform template and aspiration of southern governors and encouraged the states that are yet to enact the law to do so expeditiously.”

Earlier, Oyo State passed its version of the anti-open grazing law (in 2019). Nevertheless, there is a marked difference between having a law in place and the actual enforcement of the law.

One of the ways of ensuring that the law is implemented is through the provision of ranches or feedlots.

A look at the 2022 budget proposal of N294,516,445,107 presented in September, 2021 by Governor Seyi Makinde indicates that N11,319,289,737.00 is allocated to the agricultural sector.

It is not, however, stated that any amount had been earmarked for ranching in the budget.

Executive Assistant on Agribusiness to Governor Seyi Makinde, Dr. Debo Akande, who is also   the Director-General of the agency that oversees the agribusiness industrial hubs, Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA), said the government was using another approach where it would create bigger facilities   and the private sector would be able to establish ranches.

Dr Akande added that various agribusiness industrial hubs would be managed by the private sector.

He said while private companies would build the feedlots inside the government facility, the state government would build the ancillary infrastructure.

Akande said: “There are different ranches owned by private companies across the state. They are in Oyo, Ogbomoso and other places.

“We also have plan to have ranches across our various agribusiness industrial hubs which will be managed by the private sector. We cannot say the government is budgeting for ranching precisely. The government is using another approach. Government budgets to create that bigger facility and the private sector will come and establish ranches.

“For instance, we are building Fashola as Agribusiness Industrial hub, which is going to be a combination of crops, livestock and many other things. The   private companies will build the ranches inside the facility. But we will build the ancillary infrastructure. They will use our land and resources. Anyone that wants to do livestock will apply to the agency and engage in the use of the facilities.”