By Chidinma Chukwu, Abuja.
The National Livestock Transformation Plan NLTP if adequately implemented will be sufficient to addressing the farmers/herders crisis in the country.
Director, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Idayat Hassan disclosed at a conference organised by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) in partnership with the United States Institute for Peace (USIP) in Abuja.
The theme of the conference is “Experience sharing and learning conference on farmer and herder conflicts in Nigeria”
The Director who was represented by CDD programme officer, Shamsudeen Yusuf also said civil society organisations (CSOs) have a role to play in putting a stop to the conflicts.
“We are looking at how we can work with civil society Uorganisations (CSOs), particularly the NLTP committee set up by the government to implement the National Livestock Transformation Plan which we think is quite crucial in addressing the farmer-herder conflict.
“There are a lot of challenges when talking about scarcity of economic resources and water resources etc.
“One of the key things which we think is important is for people to be aware about this, because implementation cannot be done in isolation of people who are the direct beneficiary of the intervention.”
Hassan said the dynamics of the conflict needs to be understood before “justice” could be done to it.
“We need to be supportive of the government interventions and what new ideas we can bring up.” she added.
Senior Special Assistant to the president on Agriculture, Dr Andrew Kwasari said government is committed to resolving the issues of farmers herders crisis.
According to him, the NLTP was crafted by the Nigerian government to be implemented over ten years collaboratively in all the states of the federation.
He said the NLTP has six pillars that cover anything around justice, security and livelihood, peace, reconciliation, economic development in a systematic way that covers the interest of our pastoralists and crops farmers.
“Government is fully committed to resolving this issue holistically in a systematic way. But above all to work from within not work from without. It’s a medium term plan, almost long term plan for Nigeria.
“The 19 northern governors are committed to this. The town locations, they want to work within the grazing reserve to remodel the grazing reserve areas for livestock production.
“Other states governors are also committed to this. Surveys have gone out. We are clear that specific surveys around grazing reserve are completed for the Adamawa, Nasarawa, and Plateau. Other states are on line, Taraba will start soon in conjunction with FAO.
“Niger and Benue have started in conjunction with FAO and other partners. Anambra and Ebonyi have written and are willing to go ahead. For south west, Ondo, Ekiti, Edo. Almost all the governors believe in the NLTP because it allows implementing in line with the reality of their own situation. So there is no one side that fits every state.
“It is a flexible policy. What is fixed is that all states should approach the implementation in a holistic manner not leaving out any of the six pillars but all should go hand in hand for sustainability in resolving this farmers headers conflicts and returning back to good brotherhood and position in our society”. He noted.
One of the facilitators of the project, Chris Kwaja however stressed the need for interventions by the media,communities, traditional and religious leaders and civil actors in addressing farmers herder crisis in the country.