The Federal Ministry of Agriculture in Abuja has revealed that they are working on a comprehensive livestock information system that will require all cattle in the country to carry electronic chips while satellite imagery and remote sensing technology are deployed to track their movements.
Premium Times reports that the Minister of Agriculture, Akinwunmi Adesina, disclosed this on Monday, 23 June, 2014, in Kaduna, at the international conference on security and development challenges of pastoralists in West Africa, where he also said that the latest move would ease the perennial conflicts between herdsmen and farmers across the country.
The minister also urged governments in Nigeria to establish modern ranches and grazing buffer zones across border areas of countries, to support cross-border pastoralism.
Mr. Akinwumi stated that just like buffer dams help to prevent flooding downstream, grazing buffers zones will help alleviate the need for massive movement of live stock further south in to Nigeria,”
* Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture, Akinwunmi Adesina
He also emphasized the immense importance of grazing buffers zones,saying the role of pastoralist in preventing insurgency and conflict to enhance national security, is a reality that cannot be taken for granted.
The minister informed that the technology-based solutions will also be complimented by the establishment of “pastoralist transhumance certificates,” which he said if implemented “will go a long way in addressing several of the national security and development challenges arising from pastoralism.”
Meanwhile, during the opening ceremony of the conference, President Goodluck Jonathan, represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo, said the government was doing all it can to making sure that pastoralism is controlled and effectively supported by government.
President Jonathan mentioned that terrorists take advantage of pastoralism to cause mayhem among communities in the country.
The representative of ECOWAS at the event, Vivian Iwar, while speaking on the ECOWAS Strategic Action Plan for the Development of Livestock in West Africa, said ECOWAS is currently planning to create one uniform certificate that will allow all cattle herdsmen hold when using the regional borders.
It could be recalled that several lives have been lost across Nigeria because of crisis between of herdsmen and their host communities.
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