The Kullen Allah Cattle Rearers Association of Nigeria, (KACRAN) has blamed the Federal Government for failing to include the right stakeholders in its agricultural policy formulation.
According to the association, this had led to the stunted growth of the country’s livestock sector. The claim was conveyed in a statement released in Damaturu by its National President, Khalil Mohammed Bello, earlier today.
Bello in the statement alleged that the government had always considered farmers as key players in the industry while neglecting the pastoralists.
According to him, the bulk of the agricultural policies in the country favoured the farmers better, as their associations were more involved in drafting the framework for the policies. He noted that the FADAMA project, which had been thought to improve agriculture in the country, has done more harm than good to the pastoralists.
He said the program prevented herders from getting shelters at FADAMA settlements, especially during the dry season.
“KACRAN viewed the above singular act of the Federal government as an unfortunate action and of naked injustice to Nigerian pastoralists because instead of allocating the FADAMA places between farmers and pastoralists, the entire FADAMA places were handed over to crop/irrigation farmers, to the detriment of pastoralists”, he lamented.
Bello also noted that this neglect has made charlatans of some of the pastoralists. The breeding gangs of criminals, according to him, have now resorted to terrorising farmers across the country.
He added that this new trend would affect this year’s agricultural output if it is not nipped in the bud. He therefore urged the government to ensure that the interests of the herders are protected, and ensure that balance is struck while reviewing the policies that affect both farmers and pastoralists.
“Government is advised to ensure that farmers and herders are treated equally in terms of groups’ interest more especially when the government is empowering them.
“Both farmers and herders are to be provided with adequate security for their lives and that of their property as enshrined in Nigeria’s 1999 constitution”, he admonished.