Oyo Assembly passes anti-open grazing law

Olubunmi Osoteku, Ibadan

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The Oyo State House of Assembly has passed the anti-open grazing Bill into law, saying it will foster peace and promote agricultural business in the State.

The Bill, which was passed at plenary, is to avoid continuous damages and end loss of lives and unquantifiable investment, to constant clashes between herders and crop farmers.

The Speaker of the House, Adebo Ogundoyin, appealed to residents of the State to ignore falsehoods and misconceptions of the prohibition of Open Rearing and Grazing of Livestock Bill that are capable of triggering hostility between the herders and local farmers’ communities.

I am appealing to everyone to shun the rumour spreading that the law is to make life and business unbearable for some targeted group or set of people, rather it seeks to  promote peace among residents and different tribes in Oyo State,” he said.

According to him, a public hearing was held in which critical reviews and opinions of all concerned stakeholders, individuals, groups and experts were accommodated and considered before the Bill was passed into law.

Ogundoyin said, “We assured the people that all suggestions and memoranda of understanding submitted by various groups, agencies and representatives of different communities and tribes on the open rearing and grazing regulation Bill 2019 was painstakingly looked into before it was passed into law.”

The Speaker maintained that the Ninth Oyo State House of Assembly, through the law, was only seeking legal framework to address the issue of open rearing and grazing as well as encourage and protect the economic activities of others who are into agriculture-related ventures and the residents.

Both herders and crop farmers are farmers, and because laws are made to correct, definitely we do not expect it to favour anyone 100 percent. I implore them to embrace developmental changes this law is bringing into the agricultural business after its enactment,” he noted.

Ogundoyin encouraged farmers to consider partnership, cluster farming, cooperative ranches and other helpful methods that are working in successful neighbouring countries, adding that they have to get ready and adopt new strategies to boost products and reduce loss of resources and lives, if they truly desire development and growth in agriculture.