Plateau government set to domesticate Livestock Transformation Bill

Playeau State Governor Simon Lalong

The Plateau government is set to domesticate the National Livestock Transformation Plan, in its bid to address farmers/ herders clashes as well as strengthen the agricultural sector.

The Commissioner of Information and Communication, Mr Dan Manjang, disclosed this at a news briefing at the end of the state’s Executive Council meeting on Wednesday, at Government House Jos.

He said a Bill had been approved by the state executive council to facilitate the smooth transition of open grazing to ranching, to prevent crisis caused by farmer/ herder clashes.

He said three states, including Plateau, had been selected for the pilot scheme, saying that the livestock programme would have a multiplier effect on the economy, especially in developing the agricultural sector.

“The state government has gone ahead to provide the enabling environment by setting up the structures to address the farmer/herders conflict.

The commissioner explained that the state had been working towards ensuring that all the necessary requirements were put in place for the take-off of the pilot ranching programme, at the government reserves in Wase and Kanam Local Government Areas.

“The primary objective of the Bill is to increase the economic potential of livestock farming, to prohibit open rearing and grazing of livestock occasioning trespass to public and private land, farms, water-bodies, and a nuisance to state and federal highways,” he said.

He further explained that the Bill seeks to protect the environment from degradation, through indiscriminate and uncontrolled grazing.

Also addressing newsmen, the Secretary of the State Livestock Implementation Committee, Prof. John Wade, said the programme would address issues of land grabbing, as only government gazetted reserves in Wase and Kanam would be used for the take-off.

He said, thereafter, anyone who wished to venture into ranching would have to follow the guidelines provided by the law.

Wade said the ranching policy would encourage people to go into livestock production, because of its more protective provisions and modern approach, saying that it would also facilitate more economic benefits from the enterprise.

He disclosed that the transformation Bill seeks to boost other businesses related to ranching, such as pasture production.

“The Bill addresses issues in terms of economic empowerment of the people, you may not necessarily go into livestock production but choose pasture production. That is the production of plants which the animals feed on, and with this, we find out that people can diversify,” he said.

Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Mr Chrysanthus Ahmadu, reassured Plateau citizens not to harbour any fear of their lands being taken away from them for the purpose of the ranching programme.

He said when the bill was passed into law, no person would be allowed to practice open grazing of livestock in the state.

Meanwhile, the Plateau Government has warned the people against organising any cultural festivals or anniversaries, without securing the clearance and approval of the State Task Force on COVID 19.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quotes state authorities as saying the state had collected 61,935 samples for COVID-19 tests, out of which 8,922 were confirmed cases, with 8,753 discharged, while 57 deaths have so far been recorded.