Herders, farmers’ clashes: FAO disburses Napier grass in Taraba

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The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), Tuesday, disbursed Napier Grass planting materials to herders and farmers in Taraba state.

Country Representative of the FAO in Nigeria, Mr Fred Kafeero, while distributing the materials in Jalingo, said the gesture was to end farmers, herders’ conflict in the state.

Kafeero, who was represented by Mrs Fesimi Ogunkowa, said the planting materials included fertilisers, Napier Grass cuttings and knapsack sprayers.

He stressed that the gesture was aimed at preventing conflict and promoting peaceful coexistence among farmers and herders in the state.

He added that the project would be achieved through improved land, alternative feedstock and water management, aimed at reducing competition over natural resources.

He announced that the organisation had carried out a demarcation survey of 41,468 hectares of land as well as beaconing of 5,000 hectares in Mayo-Kam, Bali local government area of the state.

The country representative said the gesture was to further reduce encroachment into grazing reserve earmarked by the state for the development of the National Livestock Transformation Plan of the federal government.

He maintained that FAO has conducted a socio-economic profiling and provision of pasture inputs (hybrid Napier planting materials and fertilisers) to more than 2000 herders and farmers in the state.

He also informed that the organisation also conducted an assessment of alternative fodder/feedstock opportunities in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba for more than 2,000 farmers and herders, using FAO farmer-field school approach to promote value addition.

In his remarks, Mr David Kassa, Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, said all the grazing reserves were converted into ranch sites in the state.

Kassa noted that the state had already designed a model pilot ranch to be established in each of the senatorial zones in the state.

He said that these would serve as demonstration and teaching centres where farmers and herders, interested youths and women would learn skills for ranching and modern livestock production.

He called on all beneficiaries of the programme to make meaningful use of those inputs given to them.

He commented the FAO for the gesture, saying to initiate more programmes for farmers and herders in the state.

A time beneficiaries of FOA, Mr Bala Ajuji, who spoke to Blueprint commended the FOA for the programme.

Ajuji said the gesture would go a long way in addressing farmers, herders’ clashes in the state.

Also, Mallam Ardo Musa, a herder beneficiary said the much anticipated ranching had begun with the gesture by the FAO.

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