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Tinubu Creates Ministry of Livestock Development to End Farmers-Herders Clashes

President Bola Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu has approved the establishment of a new Ministry of Livestock Development. The announcement came during the inauguration of the Renewed Hope Livestock Reform Implementation Committee at the State House in Abuja.

The purpose of this new ministry is to develop sector-specific solutions to address the ongoing conflicts between farmers and herders. This decision follows a recommendation made by the National Livestock Reforms Committee on September 14, 2023. The committee proposed creating a "Ministry of Livestock Resources" to help reduce the long-standing violent conflicts between farmers and nomadic herders across the country.

Abdullahi Ganduje, former Kano State Governor and Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, shared this information with reporters after leading the committee to meet with the President at Aso Rock Villa in Abuja. The recommendation to create the new ministry was part of a broader set of 21 proposals aimed at enhancing the Federal Government's response to the frequent clashes.

The committee's document includes detailed recommendations for reforming livestock management, focusing on conflict reduction and better resource management. It suggests establishing and reviving grazing reserves, which many experts and concerned citizens have recommended. The document also proposes creating the Ministry of Livestock Resources, similar to practices in other West African countries. Alternatively, it suggests expanding the scope of existing Departments of Livestock Production to address the industry's broader needs.

Ganduje highlighted the complexity of the herder issue, noting the need to address four types of herders: those who live at home, nomadic herdsmen who travel across the country, herders from neighboring West African countries, and those who have integrated into local ethnic communities. He expressed concern over the sector's low productivity, which has made Nigeria dependent on imports for dairy, meat, and other livestock products, thereby straining the country's foreign reserves.

He also pointed out that the ongoing conflicts result in loss of lives and livelihoods, further destabilizing the nation. The report from the committee emphasized the urgent need for reforms and development in the livestock industry to resolve the long-standing conflicts between herders and farmers in Nigeria.

Ganduje stressed the importance of establishing strong institutions to implement these solutions effectively. He mentioned that the committee recommended creating the Ministry of Livestock and relevant agencies to ensure the proper implementation of the various recommendations. Additionally, they suggested potential funding sources, including contributions from international organizations, the private sector, and the government.

Further details about the new ministry and its initiatives will be provided soon.

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