The Borno state governor, Babagana Zulum says he will not join the bandwagon of states that have asked herdsmen to vacate their spaces.
Zulum, a professor of Agriculture Engineering said in Maiduguri on Monday that the northeast region can instead harness the potential in livestock production to its advantage.
The governor was speaking at an event organised by the North East Development Commission to graduate local people that acquired skills under the NEDC’s Rapid Response Intervention Program being implemented across the region.
Zulum, who is also the chairman of the Northeast governors’ forum, appealed to the NEDC to, among other things, invest in value chain agriculture and livestock production.
“Establishing livestock breeding centers in the state as well as in the entire northeast sub-region will definitely reduce the problem of farmers-herders conflict,” Zulum said.
“Borno state alone has a total landmass of 76,000 square kilometers, together with others in the North East this region will provide arable land for greater parts of the livestock farmers in Nigeria to stay in the northeast.”
“While other regions of the country are trying to drive away herders, there’s a need for us to transform the sector. I am also advocating for the development of pasture production centers in the Northeast; this is also very important and we can do it, it is not difficult we can procure pasture seeds, each state can produce nothing less than 5,000 hectares for the establishment of pasture production centers and these centers will no doubt provide grazing venues for not fewer than 2-3m livestock.”
He added that with the provision of ranching facilities and deliberate pasture management, the northeast region can conveniently breed livestock that would be supplied to other parts of the country for consumption.