‘How to end communities-herders crisis’

People load their possessions in a car as they evacuate the Ganaropp village in the Barikin Ladi area near Jos on June 27, 2018. Plateau State in Nigeria has seen days of violence where more than 200 people have been killed in clashes between Berom farmers and Fulani herders, Nigeria is facing an escalation in clashes between farmers and Fulani herders over land use and resources that is deepening along religious and ethnic lines. STEFAN HEUNIS / AFP

Stakeholders in the agricultural sector have insisted that the ranching system in conjunction with continuous dialogue among key players is the way out to the persistent clash between farmers and herders in the country.

Besides, they also advocated effective policy implementation to mitigate the menace.

The stakeholders spoke at a two -day policy dialogue on crop and livestock integration organised by Synergos Nigeria in Abuja.

Worried that the crisis could lead to food scarcity and malnourishment, the stakeholders said there was a need to engage key players such as the private sector, international partners, community leaders, and government agencies to find a leeway out of the crisis.

Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, Mawuli Sablah, noted that an integrated approach of having crop and livestock working effectively is vital to create a synergy and harness the potentials of the agricultural sector in Nigeria.

Sablah said: “We cannot achieve this synergy without dialogue and that is why we believe that this is a very important meeting that can advance policy in terms of how to ensure that farmers coexist and work side by side with herders to ensure optimal peace and nutritional wellbeing of our population. ‘’

Sablah, who added that there are policies in place to checkmate the causes of the crisis, however lamented that the policies are poorly implemented. He said the FAO is committed in promoting an intensified ranching system.

Dr. Nuraini Funsho of the ministry of agriculture noted that herders and farmers crisis is an environmental problem, stating that the federal government is still an advocate for a good ranching system. He insisted that the government is capable of solving the crisis, saying community leaders must collaborate with other stakeholders to find a lasting solution.

He said: ‘The herders move around because of food and water. If he has food and water, he has no reason to move. We are doing all-round farming irrigation and ranches to make sure that both farmers and herders get what they want. Some states are also keying into this.”

Senior Field Manager of Synergos development, Victor Adejoh said the organisation is working with various ministries and agencies to build on existing policies that enhance the relationship between farmers and herders in the country.

Source: The Guardian.

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