Farmers/Herders Conflict: Ranching may takeoff in Plateau before Dec – Prof. Wade

JOS— In view of the renewed widespread destruction of farmlands by cattle in communities in Plateau State, the State government has called for patient saying efforts are being intensified for the takeoff of the ranching option of the National Livestock Transformation Plan, NLTP which is believed would curb the incessant cases of conflicts between herders and farmers.

It would be recalled that between the first week of June, 2020 and the time of this report, hundreds of hectares of cultivated farmlands belonging to individuals and communities have been destroyed as the result of indiscriminate open grazing and lives as well as millions of Naira lost in the incidents.

Among the very recent is the destruction of farmlands belonging to 68 farmers in the Gyel district of Jos South local government area, the destruction of a 70 hectares palliative farmland cultivated to help Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Rotsu village of Miango District in Bassa Local Government Area and the killing of a middle-aged man in Rasat village of Barkin Ladi local government area when he asked a herdsman not to allow his cattle graze on his crops.

The State Focal Person for the NLTP, Professor John Wade who spoke with Vanguard on what is being done to end the cycle of violence between the herding and farming communities said government’s commitment in resolving the issue has not waned as the proposed ranching may takeoff in the two designated areas of Wase and Kanam local government areas of the State before the end of the year and called on citizens to be patient.

He said, “The preparation for the ranching is still ongoing, even last we week, we were at the reserves in preparatory to takeoff. This week too, we will be having a meeting with some of our partners, COVID-19 slowed down the movement and certain activities but the programme is still in place. What is happening in those areas have been long-standing issues which government has been working hard to resolve.

“I am aware that even last week, the Peace Building Agency was in some of these communities in Bassa, Riyom and some other affected communities within the Northern zone, had a roundtable conference with a view to resolving issues, we hope that they will actually resolve things among themselves.