The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has begged the Delta State government for 30,000 square metres of land for cattle grazing in 25 Local Government Areas in the state.
The Nation reports that the association made the appeal at a public hearing on a bill for a law that will provide regulation of livestock breeding, rearing, marketing, ending open grazing and related activities in Delta.
The public hearing was organised on Monday by the Delta State House of Assembly joint committee on special bills and agricultural and natural resources.
The memorandum was signed by Musa Shuwa, chairman of the association.
Shuwa noted that the 5,000 square metres allotted as grazing areas in the draft bill is grossly inadequate because of the facilities required to be included in a grazing area.
He explained the association currently maintains livestock markets in towns in the state.
According to him, the smallest market is located on a parcel of land measuring about 4,500 square metres, while the biggest is about 7,000 square metres.
“This is only for the markets. Also, each market takes delivery of not less than 800 cattle every week. Our members hardly sell all their cattle at the market, hence the need to feed the cattle by grazing,” he said.
“With the amendment of the draft of this bill being to ban open grazing, it is our respectful view that to have cattle within enclosed grazing (for the purpose of ranching) area will mean that a large space of area is needed for this purpose.
“While we acknowledge that the 5,000 square metres mentioned in Section 8(2a) is only in the minimum, it is our modest view that even in the minimum, 5,000 square metres of land may not be the best starting point.
“We, therefore, recommend that to practically satisfy having an abattoir, veterinary clinic, livestock market, administrative office and security post as provided in Section 2(b) to (g), Section 2(a) should provide that the designated area shall comprise a minimum of 30,000 square metres of land.”