Nigeria’s Livestock Committee Recommends New Ministry To Address Herder Issues

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News in brief: Nigeria livestock committee has recommended the establishment of a Ministry of Livestock to address farmer-herder conflicts and modernise the industry.

The National Livestock Reforms Committee (NLRC) has recommended the creation of a Ministry of Livestock to oversee the farmer-herder conflicts in Nigeria.

The committee’s report, which was submitted to President Bola Tinubu on Thursday, outlines a number of reforms aimed at modernising the livestock industry. It also details means to reduce conflict between farmers and herders.

As reported by local news outlets, they cited low productivity, ecological changes, and cultural and economic barriers as key challenges facing the livestock industry. They also claimed that repeated attempts to develop the industry have had mixed results.

Furthermore, the committee, which presented its report to President Bola Tinubu, also noted that there are four types of herders in Nigeria. They include those who settle at home, those who move within Nigeria, those who come from neighboring West African countries, and those who have settled among ethnic groups and become indigenes.

NLRC chairman, Abdullahi Ganduje, said the report was compiled to address the urgent need to reform and develop the livestock industry. The former Kano State governor said the report also aims at finding solutions to the long-standing conflict between herders and farmers.

He said the low productivity of the livestock sector has made Nigeria an import-dependent economy. Ganduje added that the situation drained scarce foreign reserves used to import dairy, meat, and other livestock products.

He said the conflict has resulted in killings and loss of livelihoods, further affecting peaceful coexistence in the country. Thus, the committee came up with practical recommendations for reforming the livestock industry at the national level after reviewing and analysing various experiences, both in Nigeria and around the world.

The committee, chaired by Professor Attahiru Jega, included members from the organised private sector, academia, practicing pastoralists and farmers. Others include representatives of farming and pastoralist communities, civil society organizations, and specialists in various fields of livestock development and conflict management.

The NLRC held a national conference in February 2023 with about 500 participants that discussed viable options for achieving sustainable modernisation of livestock production. It also explored means of peaceful relations between farmers and pastoralists.

Ganduje told President Tinubu that the report submitted to him addresses the key reforms. It also presents various development options needed for the sustainable development of the livestock sector.

Joseph Akahome
Joseph Akahome
Joseph O Akahome (OJ) is a writer, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literature from the University of Benin. He is an avid agriculturist, with a bias for poultry and an insatiable appetite for chicken wings. When he is neither reading nor researching, he likes to spend recreational time playing board games, or swimming in serene forested lakes.

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