Herdsmen Finally Express Readiness To Embrace Ranching

By Gabriel Ewepu

ABUJA- Herdsmen, under the auspices of Myetti
Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, Nasarawa State
Chapter, have said that they have realized the benefits of cattle
ranching and ready to embrace it.

This was disclosed by the
coordinator, MACBAN, Nasarawa State Chapter who also doubles as Sarkin
Yaki, Gaate of Gaate community, Kokona Local Government Area of Nasarawa
State, Farmrade Retson Tedheke, who expressed excitement over the
practical training they have received from an agribusiness firm. The
firm operates, in the community, a cattle ranch and crop farming on over
3, 000 hectares of land.

Tedheke, with the realization and
enthusiasm, revealed that with the proper management of proper cropping
and animal husbandry system, that there will be peaceful co-existence as
everything within the farming environment is useful for both farmers
and herders who are into ranching, as they benefit from each other in
terms of utilization of waste from farms as feeds and in return, cattle
dungs as manure for the crops. It would be recalled that the Federal
Government, about three years ago, came up with ranching as solution to
curb the incessant bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers across
the country, which some states including Nasarawa volunteered to give
some hectares of land for the take off cattle ranches.

The
ranches are where the government will build settlements for herders
including provision of some basic amenities to support and sustain the
development as a way to address and arrest open grazing that has led to
serious debates on the move by the government. He said: “As you can see,
our cattle are looking fresh, healthy and in less than two years, we
will have system that is all encompasses in animal husbandry. You are
not just taking the waste from the farm to feed the cattle but you can
as well use their dung as direct organic manure and in the future, we
can use them to create renewable energy. “From what we are doing, we
have not been able to provide jobs but we have been able to bring the
Fulani community around together and they are learning from what we are
doing here.

“We have been able to take in the Fulani, used their
experience and created a harmonious relationship between the Fulani and
the community and also the Fulani are beginning to understand that if
you treat your cattle this way, you are going to have better milk yield
and healthy meat for consumption in the case of beef.

“What we
are trying to do is to create a system where we can properly manage a
proper cropping and animal husbandry system whereby everything within
the farming environment is useful. You see, almost every waste in the
farm can be utilised as feeds and in return, you have dung as manure for
the crops.”