The Governor of Kogi state in North Central Nigeria Mr. Yahaya Bello has earmarked 15,000 hectares of land in the state for the commencement of cattle ranching Programme in the country.
Mr. Bello said this when he paid a courtesy visit to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in Abuja Nigeria’s Capital.
He said the 15,000 hectares of land are located in Ajaokuta and Adavi Local government areas of the state with 10,000 in Ajaojuta and 5000 in Adavi respectively.
“I am here to happily to inform the Honourable Ministre and the ministry that Kogi state have keyed into this programme 100% we are ready to pilot the programme in Kogi state….we have been able to earmark and secure 15,000 hectares of land to up, we have10,000 in Ajaokuta Local Government and 5,000 in Adavi Local Government”
He stated that he was in the Abuja to present the letter informing the Minister of the state’s commitment to support the government’s efforts in ending farmers’ herders’ clashes in the country.
The Governor said the people of the state particularly farmers have been properly sensitised about the development and are well prepared to key into it.
“The Local community have already been sensitized and willing they are ready to key in, this lands have been well secured and as such I am here to convey this message in a written letter to the ministry and we will be waiting for your action”
He said the ranching system will not only help in solving the farmers herdsmen clashes but will also generate jobs for the teeming youth in the state and Kogi state is read to tap in the economic gains of the programme.
“We are very confident that this is going to add to the economic well being of our people, the state and the country at large”
The Governor further assured the Minister that the state is willing to provide all needed support for the ranching programme to ensure its success.
Responding, the Minister of Agriculture Mr. Audu Ogbeh appreciated the governor for keying into the ranching system programme in the country and for taking the lead.
Mr. Ogbeh said the killing in the country is an unfortunate happening that should be brought to an end as soon as possible.
He stated that Government is ready to commence work on the land earmarked as soon as possible ensuring that necessary amenities are put in place.
“I thank you for your courage and want to say to you that you will see us there supporting and developing this place… we will do your soil test, do what kind of grass is possible in the place, do dams and water processes and secure the place against rustlers”
The minister reiterated that government is not taking away lands from the states but expects the state governors to see the economic development in the programme.
Mr. Ogbeh noted that in as much as ranching is a private business, there is a crises in the country that need the government to intervene just as government had intervened in Tomatoes, cassava, rice when the need arose.
“we been hearing complains that after all ranching is a private business so why should government invest in it my reply to that is, cassava production is private business, rice production is private business, cocoa production is private business…. There is no one of this sectors in which government has not invested and continues to invest in, we have been bailing Banks and Airlines out so it’s not as if we are choosing this sector to invest in but it’s the business of the Government to feed the people”
Kogi state is the first state to officially earmark land and present it in writing to the Government for the proposed ranching system in the country.