Benue Killings: Farmer Asks FG To Adopt Cattle Ranching Method
A farmer, Shedrack Madlion, has blamed the incessant bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers on two Ministries of Government, the livestock division of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Environment.
He accused the ministries of neglecting their responsibilities of not identifying and bringing immediate solutions to some of the issues affecting cattle rearing.
Explaining further, Madlion noted that pastoral rearing, for instance, causes the cows to be unhealthy as opposed to ranching.
He said this when he appeared as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, insisting that pastoral herding is completely outdated.
Speaking further, he pointed out that the best quality beef is produced from livestock reared on ranches, both in Nigeria and elsewhere in the world.
“We have 422 gazetted points across the country overtaken by human activities and climate change.
“In Yobe we have 322 grazing reserves between Niger state and Ilorin, we have another 56 with the highest point in the northeast. That came to 423.
“We were not 250 million people as at when we had these grazing points so Ranching has to come into play.
“Taking a cow from Sokoto to Umuahia by road, does not enhance milk quality. Our cows are one of the poorest looking cows in the world, poverty triangle manifests in the looks of our cows.
“The cow does not give you the required milk, they cannot compete with our neighbors in Ethiopia, Sudan, Mali, where 47% of the livestock we eat in Nigeria comes from.”
Mr Madlion believes that if the Federal Government had actively encouraged modern cattle breeding methods, it would have improved the economy of the herdsmen, making the violence unnecessary.
“Two people must take responsibility for neglecting their roles – The honourable Minister for Agriculture, Director for Livestock Services, the Ministry for Environment in Nigeria who have failed in their responsibility,” he stressed.
Furthermore, he lamented over the killing of the more than 70 persons by herdsmen in the state and called on the government to rise up to the situation.
“74 people are not 73 cows, it is an irreplaceable loss, my heart bleeds for the people of the middle belt, my heart bleeds for the state that produces 27 per cent of the tubers, my heart bleeds for the food basket of the country.
“My heart bleeds for a state that produces 23 per cent of the oranges in this country, My heart bleeds for where 287,000 metric tonnes of fresh tomatoes and chili peppers come from,” the farmer lamented.