As 17 southern states in the country prepare to enact laws banning open grazing of cattle in the region, cattle breeders, operating under the aegis of Miyetti Allah Kauta Hore, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly to do everything possible to frustrate anti-open grazing laws.
Although, among the 17 states in the southern region of the country, only five have moved to another stage in the enactment of the law.
The five states include Bayelsa, Rivers, Oyo, Ekiti and Abia.
It is no more news that the development has caused great panic across the country, thus forcing some Nigerian farmers into untold hardship.
This has also limited the provision of farm produce, as farmers especially those in the southern p[art of the country abandon their produce to deteriorate with the fear of being attacked by herdsmen.
Although, cattle breeders have expressed concerns over the actions of the states, particularly Southern states, insisting that they were counterproductive to their known economic business.
According to the National Publicity Secretary of the group, Engr. Saleh Alhassan, ranching as envisage by many requires massive capital investment and is difficult to sustain, not economical and is not for small livestock holder centred.
Cost of ranch farm
iBrandTV gathered that it cost $6,550 annually to rear about 200 cows on a ranch farm.
The average labour cost per cow is estimated at $32.75. Weighted Mean/Cow. An average which determines the relative importance that heifers, steers, replacement heifers and culls place on the market value per cow.
About Cattle ranches
Cattle ranches are historically relatively safe in the larger ecosystem of real estate. They’re a good investment now because prices are rising both for cattle and the property on which to raise cattle, the economy is growing and projected to continue growing, and the market for cattle is on track with this growth.
Miyetti Allah reacts
The group has called on the National Assembly to come to the rescue of the pastoralists by resuscitating and passing the Grazing Reserves Commission Bill and other livestock management bills initiated by the previous National Assembly.
According to Alhassan, If the anti-open grazing laws were allowed,economic activities of the pastoralists would be completely destroyed.
The Fulani socio-cultural organisation insisted that the country must, instead of pressing ahead with the anti-open grazing laws, key into strategies in responding to the challenges of climate change as it affects livestock production.
Alhassan stated: “We want the National Assembly and Mr. President to intervene and stop the current attempt by some states governors to criminalize our means of economic livelihood of cattle rearing through the enactment of satanic and obnoxious laws – ‘Anti-open Grazing Laws’ targeted at Fulani pastoralists.
“The Federal Government should create a Federal Ministry of livestock a Fisheries as obtainable in many African countries.”
“Government should take an inventory of all the existing grazing reserve traditional grazing areas, transhumance corridors, major stock routes and fully develop at least one grazing reserve in each senatorial zone line with the recommendation of the Inter-ministerial Committee Livestock Development in Nigeria 2015, the report of Presidential Committee on Pastoralists and Insecurity 2014 and the National Livestock Transformation Programme.
“Nothing but populist and corruption driven agenda designed to destroy pastoralists means of livelihood.”
Effect of the law
He said the laws do not take into cognizance the sociology, economic, production system, climate variations and other push factors inherent in pastoralists’ movements across ecological zones.
He said further that the laws would destroy livestock production and send into poverty millions people that depends on the livestock value chain (Butchers, transporters, livestock dealers and consumers who are used to affordable sources of be and milk)
“The laws will undermine the relative peace and stability currently enjoyed the local communities and threaten social order.
“The laws will exacerbate cattle rustling in the local communities as criminal gangs and states sponsored vigilantes will use the opportunity institutionalize their nefarious activities of cattle rustling.
“The laws will lead to serious humanitarian crisis as families will be destabile and markets and economic livelihoods will be disrupted and the laws will lead to massive cross border migrations that will create further security challenges.
“This dangerous and satanic laws must be nib in the bud by the National Assembly to safeguard the constitution as it potent greater danger to the corporate existence of the country.
“This oppressive laws and hostile policies being enacted by state governors are fundamentally going against the Fulani Pastoralist culture, economic interest and constitutional rights.
“It is important to note that inter-state movement of pastoralists is analogous to inter-state commerce, which is an exclusive preserve of the legislative powers of the National Assembly under item 62 of the Exclusive Legislative List.
“To this effect any action taken by any state Assembly that is in conflict with above section of the 1999 constitution as amended is null and void.”