From Yakubu Busari Jos.
Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State
The cabinet of the Plateau State Government has approved a bill for the establishment of the Plateau State Livestock Transformation which when passed into law, will promote livestock business based on ranching.
The State Executive Council at its weekly meeting approved the transmission of the bill to the Plateau State House of Assembly for consideration by the legislature.
According to Commissioner for Information and Communication Dan Manjang, after themeeting, the bill would facilitate smooth transition from open grazing to ranching.
Manjang said the government was committed to putting the necessary logistics required for the take off of the model ranching programme at the Wase and Kanam Reserves which are wholly owned by the State Government.
He assured that once the programme takes off and alternatives are provided, people will no longer be allowed to move around with livestock in the State. Already, local and international investors have shown interest in putting their money in the pilot phase of the livestock transformation program.
Secretary of the State Livestock Implementation Committee, Prof. John Wade said the programme would not appropriated land for ranching. The government he said will put into use its gazetted reserves in Wase and Kanam for the take off and thereafter, anyone who wants to go into ranching will follow the guidelines provided by the law.
He said the State is approaching ranching strictly as a business hence the directive by the Governor for robust sensitization to enable more citizens key into modern livestock business. He said the notion that one ethnic group has a monopoly of the business is incorrect and such must be discountenanced in the new development.
Wade said the ranching policy will also accommodate other species of livestock aside from cows to bring in more diversification of the agriculture sector.
Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General Chrysanthus Ahmadu explained that the proposed law takes care of herders, farmers and other interests in the livestock value chain.
He said in ranching, there will be dairy and beef production, fodder production, marketing and associated businesses that will employ many.
He said it will also go along way in ending destruction of farmlands by livestock, clashes between farmers and herders and unnecessary violence that is rooted in the unsavoury relationship between them.
The people of Plateau State have therefore been reassured that no land will be grabbed by anyone as there is already an anti-land grabbing law signed by the Governor which prescribes stiff penalties for violators.