The Kogi state government is ready for the speedy implementation of the Rural Urban Grazing Area (RUGA) programme otherwise called the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLIP).
The state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello made the promise after a-two day training session organised by the National Office of the Livestock Transformation Plan for the state’s Steering Committee (SC) and Project Management Office (PMO).
Governor Bello, in his remark, harped on the economic importance of the project while pledging his government’s readiness to begin implementation with the assurance of giving necessary support to the state project office in actualising the objectives of the project.
State coordinator of the project, Dr. Olufemi Bolarin revealed that the capacity of the state livestock transformation officers had been built to turn the objectives of the project into success.
According to him, the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) is a project designed by the federal government with focus on modernising livestock production in the country as well as put to rest, incidences of farmers, herders’ clashes.
He also explained that the training would prepare the state livestock transformation officers for the task of delivering on the job, stressing that they had been equipped with the knowledge on the modern means of livestock management.
“We are still practicing livestock the way it was 100 years ago. Other countries have long embraced ranching systems. It is sad that Nigeria is lagging behind countries like Kenya, Ethiopia, even Sudan in modern livestock farming”, he said.
On the benefits of the project to the state, Dr. Bolarin maintained that it would settle the prevailing mistrust between the herders, farmers and the communities that often arises from competition for water and land.
Free grazing range by herders, he pointed out, would be made impossible, as model ranches provided with basic social facilities, would be set up to make life easier for those involved in livestock business across the state.
The project, he said, would also empower those in the rural communities to go into livestock production or embrace fodder crop production like soya beans as well as cultivation of grasses which would be processed into pellets as feeds for animals, and this he emphasised, would translate into huge economic benefits for the farmers.
Alternate chairman of the state steering committee, Hon Asiwaju Idris Asiru, expressed the commitment of the state government to the success of the project.
Asiwaju, who is also the state Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, noted that the project would open up myriads of opportunities for the state and its people, besides taking care of herders and farmers clashes.
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