Federal Government will be working with state governments to rediscover the lost grazing routes and reserves across the country as part of measures to end farmers and herders’ clashes.
Senior Special Assistant to President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, disclosed this on Friday in a statement titled “President Buhari: Farmers will reap benefits of our policies.”
Shehu quoted President Muhammadu Buhari, speaking at a meeting with Katsina State Elders Forum at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Thursday.
The statement read, “The President told the meeting that he had charged his ministers of agriculture to work with the states to rediscover the lost animal grazing routes and reserves as a means to ending the frequent outbreaks of violence between farmers and herders.
“He also pressed the necessity of educating school-age children, saying that once the opportunity of early education is lost, it often turns out very difficult for them to make up.
“Mr Buhari also broached the issue of armed banditry and kidnapping that had bedevilled Katsina and other North Western states and gave assurances that the situation would be overcome in the same way the farmer-herders, attacks were subdued.”
According to the statement, Buhari also said Nigerian farmers would reap the benefits of his government’s reforms as he continues to accord the highest priority to agriculture, describing it as the country’s largest employer of labour and engine of growth.
He promised that his regime would continue to take steps to enhance output and productivity by ensuring availability of cheap agricultural credits, farm inputs, fertiliser and introduction of latest technologies.
He said the choice of practising farmers as ministers in charge of agriculture, first Mr Audu Ogbe and now, Mr Sabo Nanono, was a reflection of his strong wish to protect interest of farmers and the attainment of national food self-sufficiency.
He agreed to look into the request of Katsina Elders for the expansion of existing irrigation schemes at Zobe and Sabke dams to enhance employment and profitability in agriculture, saying that a situation in which 60 per cent of the state is productive in rain-fed agriculture for three to four months, and idle for the rest of the year was unacceptable.
The statement also quoted leader of the delegation, Mr Aliyu Saulawa representing the Chairman, Mr Ahmadu Kurfi, commending the President for returning peace to most parts of the state and for the various infrastructure projects, including Kano-Jigawa-Katsina-Maradi rail link.