By Henry Odeh
As part of efforts to end the incessant herder-farmers clashes leading to avoidable destruction and in many cases deaths, the Oyo State Government has said that it has engaged the service of a Consultant for the purpose of cattle ranching in the state.
Sunrisebulletin gathered that similar initiative was implemented in Ekiti state which has reduced dependence on external sources for internal meat consumption in the neighboring state.
Speaking on a phone-in program on an Ibadan based radio station about efforts of the Seyi Makinde led Government on Agriculture and Agribusiness, the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to Oyo state Governor, Mr Taiwo Adisa, explained that cattle rearing is a private business which is why the state government will not be directly getting involved.
He said although the ranch will be owned by Oyo state but added that it will be managed by a consultant for the state to ensure effective management devoid of all the tight processes required operating government owned businesses.
Mr. Adisa said the cattle ranching arrangements will be operated on the basis of Public Private Partnership (PPP) and will be handled by the Consultant to avoid the unnecessary bureaucratic bottlenecks usually associated with implementation of such laudable initiative and to guarantee its sustainability.
Sunrisebulletin gathered that the menace of herders-farmers clashes has lingered for long and has caused serious injury to the state’s agricultural drive as farming business is now being avoided by farmers to avoid face-offs with the herdsmen.
As a result, there has been persistent outcry by residents in the state who insisted that cattle rearing is a private business and as such a set of people in the country should not be allowed to destroy other people’s businesses by their own business.
Sunrisebulletin also reported that as part of efforts by Governors from the south west geopolitical zone to arrest the herdsmen situation in their various states have legislated and established laws which bans open grazing and encouraged cattle ranching which also has a trickle down effects on security.
However, effects of the anti-open grazing laws were yet to be seen or felt as herdsmen activities on farmlands have continued to engage their cattles in open grazing unabatedly, especially in Igangan area of Ibarapa North Local Government of Oyo state, leading to avoidable deaths and destructions of farmlands in recent times.
Mr. Adisa while speaking on the radio program maintained that Oyo state government is making frantic move to address the situation frontally in order to address the trickle down effects on the state security.
The CPS also noted that part of the Governor Seyi Makinde’s efforts towards providing food security in the state was revamping of the moribund Fashola farm settlement which was established by the then western region government and transforming it into farm estate.
He explained that the Fashola farm settlement which was one of the 9 inherited farm settlements by Oyo state was abandoned by previous administrations despite its economic potentials and employment generation prospects.
“There is a farm settlement at Fashola that was out there by the Western Region Government, it was inherited by Oyo state, it is one of the 9 farm settlement inherited by Oyo state but now it’s been turned to farm estate,” Adisa said.
He explained that all adjoining roads from Ibadan, Ogbomoso, and others leading to Fashola farm estate will be fixed according to Governor Makinde, so that transportation of farm produce and vehicular traffic on the adjoining roads will be made with ease.