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Firm urges Nigerians to accept RUGA for food security

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AFP PHOTO / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI

Plans National Conference September 24
Food Work Africa, an agro policy strategist company, has urged Nigerians to accept the establishment of Rural Grazing Areas (RUGA) settlement for Fulani herders to avert food insecurity.

To create more awareness on the issue, the organisation is planning a national conference on RUGA from September 24 to 27 at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

It maintained that if the crisis was not resolved in time, the incessant feud between farmers and herdsmen might lead to unavailability of food, including beef, for Nigerians in the next 20 years.

According the firm, the Federal Government’s initiative for RUGA settlements for the herdsmen is a way of planning for the future, as RUGA is more of an economic and technical issue than religious and ethnic matter.

“If we don’t solve the farmers/herders crisis now, by 20 years to come, there might be no food or beef for people to eat in the country.”

This is because the lingering crisis between farmers and herdsmen would affect food and beef production,” convener of the conference, Ihechukwu Chima, told The Guardian yesterday.

He, however, canvassed rules of engagement for both the farmers and the herdsmen, if RUGA must be set up in any community.

The Fulani headers must also be sensitised that their movement into a community was not to create a chief or a king, but strictly on economic basis, he added.

Noting that the conference is about dialogue, he stated: “We are bringing farmers, traditional rulers and all stakeholders in the agricultural value chain to dialogue.”

One of the targets of the conference, The Guardian learnt, is to send a private bill to the National Assembly for the implementation of RUGA.


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