Stakeholders in Benue, Nasarawa adopt ranching for herders
Stakeholders in Benue and Nasarawa have resolved that ranching should be adopted by pastoralists in the two states to ensure sustainable peace.
At a seminar in Makurdi, the Benue state capital, which was jointly organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), the stakeholders resolved that rather than pastoralists moving about with cattle, they should rely on the farmers for the supply of fodder to augment the animal feed.
The forum called for strengthening of the great green wall, otherwise referred to as the reclamation of the semi-arid region of the northern Nigeria into green areas for pastoralists to prevent downward movement of livestock which has resulted to frequent conflicts between the farming and herding communities.
A statement issued at the end of the seminars read in part: “The production of food crops and grains in the Middle Belt should be strengthened to avoid conflict between animals and crops even as we sue for more proactive measures involving all principal actors.
“Continuous dialogue between the conflicting parties should be encouraged to build trust in each other and other external mediation and reconciliation efforts.
“All UN intervention efforts must be efficiently executed to give a new lease of life to the affected communities in Benue and Nasarawa states. All principal actors must be engaged to drive the process, and the issue of national identity cards for all citizens of Nigeria should be taken seriously.”
The seminar which began with presentations and plenary sessions on conflict prevention, mediation and reconciliation and the role of the rule of law and justice system in Benue and Nasarawa states, witnessed strong remarks by the commissioners for land in the two states, representatives of the Miyetti Allah, Islamic and Christian clerics, farmers association, women groups, and traditional leaders, among others.