The Federal Government has begun the revitalisation of 21 gracing reserves out of the 36 states of the federation.
The move is part of efforts to resolve the farmer/herder crisis across the country, according to the Minister of Agriculture, Sabo Nanono
Nanono said the government is also making moves to involve local and international farmers in the revitalisation of grazing reserves to improve the relationship between farmer/herder.
He explained that reviving the reserves would improve Nigerias’ Agricultural worth and improve the production of dairy products.
In a webinar to mark the World Milk Day by the Policy Centre of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nanono said contractors have been mobilised to various sites across the country to begin work on the grazing reserves.
Meanwhile, President of ACCI, Dr. Al-Mujtaba Abubakar said the dairy sub-sector will improve private-sector-driven implementation of the National livestock transformation plan and create a private sector driven ranching system for the country.
Other speakers called for concerted efforts to increase local production of milk in Nigeria to save the nation from blowing up her foreign reserve on milk importation.
They said ending open gracing is in the collective interest of Northerners and Southerners, urging governments to fast track the ongoing works on the gracing reserves.
The keynote speaker, Mr. Azubike Nwokoye from action Aids Nigeria called for an increase in government funding of Agriculture especially the livestock industry due to the current national security challenges.
Azubike said adequate funding is necessary to realise the goal of ranching and grazing reserves, noting that, without funding, it will be difficult to stop open grazing.
“Cows rearing demands lots of water therefore, we suggest that solar power borehole should be widely provided to meet the needs of pastoralists and cows.”
The representative of Chi Ltd., Mr. Israel Dan’Auta commended the Federal Government, Central Bank of Nigeria and the Niger State government for their support to expand local production of milk.
Listing various efforts of Chi Ltd. to source milk locally he said, the ongoing project in Niger state is being deployed to empower local milk producers as well as raise new breeds of cows with higher milk generating capacity.
Rounding up the seminar, the Director-General, ACCI, Victoria Akai advised the governments at all levels to put the private sector in the driver seat on the implementation of the national livestock transformation plan.
The DG said the question of Public-Private Partnership is at the heart of the ACCI policy brief which will be widely circulated to governments and stakeholders for actions.