By Faith Awa Maji, Katsina
Katsina State in its restoration agenda, in Agriculture, initiated the Ranch programme which was necessitated as a result of confrontations between farmers and Herders, leading to the destruction of Lives and properties in the State.
In this regard, it has allocated 7000 hectares of Grazing land in 10 local government areas aimed at addressing the problems.
The State Government has taken measures amongst which are the reconciliation with the Bandits in Kankara Town, tour by Gov Masari to all 10 LGAs to get an insight of their demands
Governor Aminu Bello Masari while addressing stakeholders compromises of leaders of herders and farmers in Katsina, organized by the office of Special Adviser to Gov Masari on Livestock Development. said “The journey that brought us here started way back in 2016 when we had a meeting with our experience then was that over 90 percent of those who relocated inside the forest did that out of fear and conflict between, especially the vigilante, the farmers, and the others living in the forest. Like I said, this initiative, we went to the Federal Government and requested for fund, under stabilization fund so that we can come and do what is necessary, especially around education, health and also animal husbandry and other related issue.
“That effort was politicized in many states and communities across the nation.
“Again in 2018, we changed gear and requested for fund under general mineral resources fund, after submitting a comprehensive preliminary on the design analysis, then amounted to 1.5billion naira”.
According to Governor Masari, after 2019 election when the problem persisted, he took the request to President Buhari, and the first phase of the project was for 6.25 billion Naira.
“And the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has graciously approved the release of the sum of 6.25 billion Naira to Katsina State Government to kick-start the 1st phase of this project.
“The purpose and objective of this project has been mentioned to the communities. This project is not only for Fulani, it is for all in regard to the 10 affected local government areas and even beyond the local government.
He said because the second phase of the project will involve both the Northern and the Southern part of the State in the hinterland, where it will have large numbers of livestock and people living in the densely populated area of Katsina.
“The objective is to restore what was there before and definitely enough, we have seen some old generations of Fulani that are here and also the community leaders who are here. We need to ask ourselves, what went wrong. We were living peacefully before.
“We know we have challenges in terms of land because of population explosion. We have problems of grounded killings which most of us, especially in the forest do not really understand. Maybe they thought it is the normal climate change that normally happens after each ten years.
“For us to prepare ourselves to adapt to these changes and overcome it and move on, we need to be really informed and educated about what is going on.
“Unfortunately, in our system, when our children goes to school, he feels he is more important that he cannot be a butcher. After all, it is through butchering that his mother was born, and he was born and bred and educated through butchering. How then can he now think that he is too important that he cannot be a butcher?
“Likewise the others. Those of us who had the opportunity of going to school feels that I don’t need to go back and be a cattle nearer because they are now well-educated. But the difference is clear If an educated cattle nearer is compared to an uneducated one, how can them without education help one cattle to produce 20 liters of milk?
“All your traditional cow cannot in the best of time, especially during rainy season produce one liter of milk, but it is doable through education.
“It is doable. Some people have done it. Those who have done it are human beings like you and me. They are not different. They took advantage of the opportunity for them to learn.
“So, That is why we want to establish schools. It is important to enroll your children in schools for the economy and modern cattle rearing. We have children all over the world. It is owned by the traditional people who started like you are doing now roaming about with cattle, but they become sedentary and started rearing in one place, and today they are amongst the richest. They are the ones that are supplying milk to us.
“Cattle rearing is money and good business. You have to realize you are not keeping cattle base on traditions alone, you are using it to earn a living. For you to earn a living, you have to know that what you are doing will support you and sustain your own way of living”.
Earlier, the Special Adviser on Livestock Development to Gov Masari, Dr. Lawal Usman Bagiwa, noted that
“Development of Pasture and retracing and demarcation of stock routes to address the issue
of Herders movement from one station to all another in efforts to stop further Clashes, Banditry, Cattle Rustling, Kidnapping, and other social vices”.
Dr. Bagiwa further explained that the State Government has resolved to implement the project through the Department of Livestock and Grazing Reserves whereby about 7000 hectares of Grazing land would be utilized out of the 122,000 hectares in the reserve and 5000 hectares for pasture Development as 2000 hectares is marked for Arable farming and the infrastructures
“The State Government intends to intervene in 10 LGAs of Jibia, Batsari, Kurfi, D/Ma, Safana, Danmusa, Kankara, Faskari, Sabuwa and Dadume) who are more vulnerable to the problems of Banditry and Farmers/Herders clashes, and would provide lands for the production of pastures and provision of infrastructures, and also identifying investors to up- take the entire Value chain of the Project and set up the industries for of the people in our society”.
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