Simon Lalong, Governor of Plateau State, has said governors of northern Nigeria have accepted ranching as the alternative to the open grazing practise of cattle rearing.
Governor Lalong, who is also the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, disclosed this on Saturday.
There has been an intense debate over the sustainability of the open grazing system in recent times following the farmer-herder clashes, as well as an increase in the rate of crimes attributed to herdsmen.
According to Lalong, the northern governors have agreed to implement the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP), which was proposed by Audu Ogbeh, a former minister of agriculture, in 2018 and was adopted by the National Economic Council (NEC) headed by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
The NLTP approach seeks to provide ranches for livestock with a view of mitigating the incessant farmer-herder clashes.
The governor, therefore, called on the Federal Government to make funds available for the programme, noting that the scheme will be an economic activity in its entirety and would not be politicised by the governors.
He said: “Let me emphasise that we have no intention of politicizing this matter. Our interest is to transform it into a purely economic activity and also end the negative aspects of the current practice without creating new problems,” he said.
“We as Northern Governors, therefore, adopted the National Livestock Transformation Programme (NLTP) and called on the Federal Government to release funds to willing states to start.
“In fact, some states have begun processes to end open grazing in their states.
“Kaduna has a ranch with DANO milk as a pilot; Plateau has sent a bill on ranching to the state assembly, Zamfara, Kano, Taraba, Niger, Nasarawa have Started ranch constructions.
“Benue State has had an anti-grazing law for some years. Northern governors are already walking the talk.”