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Seven states have provided 19 livestock grazing reserves — Minister

Seven states have set out 19 grazing reserves for the implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP), the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, has said.

He disclosed this at the 44TH Regular Meeting of the National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development, on Thursday in Abuja.

NLTP was adopted by the National Executive Council (NEC) in 2019 to help check attacks by armed herders on crop farmers.

He said 22 states and the Federal Capital Territory have registered with the NLTP Office, out of which 10 States have created their own teams which have been trained by the Federal Office.

“Seven of these 10 States have also earmarked about 19 Grazing Reserves for the implementation of the NLTP, with a total land size of approximately 400,00 hectares,” he said.

He said the NLTP, when fully implemented, will bring an end to the crisis.

He said the plan will introduce herders to the modern way of raising cattle, with all the added benefits of improved feeding, improved animal and human health, genetic improvement, value addition and better socio-economic standing for all participants.

The aggregation of all players in the value chain at the implementation sites is also bound to improve the local economy of the communities within the vicinity of the grazing reserves.

“A bigger impact on Nigeria’s economy will be made when we are able to spend less on importation of dairy and beef products which currently constitute a significant percentage of Nigeria’s food import,” he said.

 Also, the minister said a Dutch consortium that is partnering the Nigerian government for the implementation of the first pilot state, was able to attract a grant from their home country of Netherlands for the start-up of the National Livestock Transformation Plan pilot in Nasarawa State.

He said another partnership with the government of Brazil has yielded an Agricultural Mechanisation loan to the tune of €995m.

“This shall be granted to Nigerian entrepreneurs to establish service centres across all the 774 local governments of the country,” he said

Mr Nanono confirmed that funds have been released for soil analysis across the country and about 50 per cent of the planned number of samples have already been collected.


By Oge Udegbunam

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