Farmers Urge FG to Establish Commercial Ranches for Herders

Nigerian Farmers Seek Commercial Ranches to End Open Grazing, Promote Food Security

Farmers in Nigeria have called on the Federal Government to establish commercial ranches across the country where herders can graze their cattle and pay rent for the services provided. This move aims to address the long-standing issue of open grazing, which has led to clashes between farmers and herders and significant crop losses.

The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has backed a bill to ban open grazing, citing the need for a more structured approach to cattle rearing.

The bill, which passed its second reading in the Nigerian Senate on June 5, 2024, aims to establish a National Animal Husbandry and Ranches Commission to manage and regulate ranches nationwide.

AFAN's South-West Chairman, Femi Oke, emphasized the importance of commercializing ranches, stating that this would not only reduce conflicts between farmers and herders but also lead to lower food prices.

He noted that the current practice of open grazing causes significant damage to crops and is unsustainable.

The proposed bill outlines specific regulations for the establishment and management of ranches, promoting best practices and mitigating disputes between herders and farmers.

Senator Titus Zam, who sponsored the bill, explained that the commission would be responsible for managing, preserving, and controlling ranches across the country.

However, the bill has faced opposition from some lawmakers, including Senators Danjuma Goje and Adamu Aliero, who argued that cattle rearing and ranching activities are more prevalent in the North and that the law should be applicable to the entire country, not just a section.

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