The Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has declared that clashes between farmers and herdsmen will get worse in 2019 if nothing was done to create cattle ranches or provide better security against rustling.
Chief Ogbeh raised the alarm while briefing State House correspondents after the National Food Security Council meeting at the State House, Abuja.
Ogbeh at the briefing said: “We have to move the cattle to the good old grazing reserves and we just have to create environment for them; clusters of ranches where they have water, grass and security against rustlers.
“For nearly 40 years, we didn’t do much about cattle, we also forgot that cattle contribute six per cent to GDP. The cheapest way of rearing cattle is by roaming around with them as you see now. If you go into a ranch it is not cheap and government cannot subsidise cattle rearing like they do in Europe, where they subsidise every cow. We cannot afford that.
“So, the thing is to create those ranches and the herdsmen are prepared to pay tax to support the programme. If we don’t do it, next year will be worse than this year, I assure you.”
The council, which is chaired by President Buhari, was presided over by Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, in the absence of Buhari, who travelled to the United Kingdom immediately after the National Executive Council, NEC, meeting of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.