From Pwanagba Agabus, Jos
The Plateau State Government has commenced the domistication of the National Livestock Transformation Programme with the approval of a bill for the establishment of ranching in the State.
The State Government assured that once the programme takes off and alternatives are provided, people will no longer be allowed to move around with livestock in the State.
The State Executive Council at its meeting approved the transmission of the bill to the Plateau State House of Assembly for consideration by the legislature.
The Commissioner for information and Communication, Dan Manjang who briefed Journalists said said the bill was to facilitate smooth transition from open grazing to ranching.
Manjang said the State has been working assiduously to put in place all necessary requirements for the take off of the model ranching programme at the Wase and Kanam Reserves which are wholly owned by the State Government.
According to him, “local and international investors have shown interest in putting their money in the pilot phase of the livestock transformation programme”.
Also speaking, Secretary of the State Livestock Implementation Committee, Prof. John Wade said the programme has “zero land grabbing”, as nobody’s land will be appropriated for ranching.
He added that government will put into use its gazetted reserves in Wase and Kanam for the take off and thereafter, “anyone who wants to go into ranching will follow the guidelines provided by the law”.
Wade who is also the Director of Research and Documentation in the government house, maintained that, “The State is approaching ranching strictly as a business hence the directive by the Governor for robust sensitization to enable more citizens key into modern livestock business.
According to him, “The notion that one ethnic group has a monopoly of the business is incorrect and such must be discountenanced in the new development.
“The ranching policy will also accommodate other species of livestock aside from cows to bring in more diversification of the agricultural sector”, he explained.
In his remarks, the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General Chrysanthus Ahmadu explained that the proposed law takes care of “herders, farmers and other interests in the livestock value chain”.
According to him, “In ranching, there will be dairy and beef production, fodder production, marketing and associated businesses that will employ many.
“It will also go along way in ending destruction of farmlands by livestock, clashes between farmers and herders, and unnecessary violence that is rooted in the unsavoury relationship between them”, he explained.