Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh on Wednesday said that nine states have written to the ministry offering 5,000 hectares of land that can be used as a grazing reserve for herdsmen.
He said this during the Sectoral Debate on the Nigerian Economy being organised by the House of Representatives.
He also stated that the National Grazing Route Bill being presented “does not specify where the routes lead to”, adding that “routes must lead to grasslands and not farmlands and communities”.
He also explained that the goals of the Ministry of Agriculture include providing grazing reserves all over the country to address conflicts and that the ministry hopes to import grass seeds from Brazil to increase the vast availability of grasses
His disclosure comes amid calls by Nigerians that the violent activities of Fulani herdsmen be curbed. Enugu and Benue attacks are still fresh on the minds of Nigerians. There have also been several attacks in Plateau, Kogi, Taraba, Kaduna, Edo, Oyo, Delta, Nasarawa, Ondo and other states across the country.
It is not yet known if Oyo State is one of the states making the offer after the State governor, Abiola Ajimobi recently rejected the proposed creation of grazing zones across the country as a panacea to the perennial clash between trespassing herdsmen and farm owners.
On the controversial #GrazingCommissionBill, Ajimobi had said:
“This is the time to call a spade a spade. Those clamouring for creation of grazing zones across the country should have a rethink. It is against the Land Use Act; it is against the law of natural justice to seize people’s land to cater for someone’s cattles.
“Grazing zones could be created for those who are traditional cattle rearers in their areas. I’m not against that. But, you cannot come here and tell me you want to occupy our land for grazing zones. The land exists in our respective states and as such the rightful owners should decide what to do with them.
“Anybody outside this zone willing to rear cattle here will need to approach the state to buy the land and we offer what is available with rules. There is no free land for grazing zones. We need to take this firm position. It won’t happen.”