The Abia State Government says it will establish modern grazing reserves as part of efforts to reduce clashes between rural communities and herdsmen in the state.
The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Kenneth Nwosu, made this known Wednesday.
Dr. Nwosu who happens to be the former Executive Director, National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Umudike, said the reserves would be established in collaboration with private investors.
The grazing reserves would be equipped with modern facilities, to improve the health of animals and nomads. Furthermore, the recurring incidences of crop destruction by cattle was a major concern to farmers and the government, adding that measures would be taken to protect farmers from such preventable losses.
Already, the ABIA state government had set up a pilot phase of the reserve at Lokpanta, Umunneochi Local Government Area. With the establishment of the reserves, the Cattle, sheep and goats would be kept in one place where there would be plenty of grass and water.
Dr Nwosu also stated that the project would be a Public Private Partnership (PPP) project. It will be run as a business as the herdsmen would pay a fee for using the facilities.
The need to check the wandering animals from destroying crop farms cannot be overemphasized. They should not be wandering about carelessly. Furthermore, indiscriminate grazing would reduce damage to crops, loss of farm income and there would be a reduction or total elimination of bloody clashes between nomadic herdsmen and farmers.
We at Belvyna Global believe all State governments should establish grazing reserves such that herdsmen will not wander about indiscriminately. In the long run, entrepreneurs should be prepared to invest in the establishment of modern abattoirs/ slaughter slabs for processing assorted beef and halal meat.
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