The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), has revealed that the policy content of the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) inaugurated by the Federal Government recently holds the key to the genuine resolution of conflicts between herders and farmers.
The NLTP seeks to breed better understanding among farmers and herders and end the incessant violent clashes between the two groups.
The assertions are outcomes of a stakeholders meeting held on Thursday, in Abuja.
Recall that the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo recently inaugurated the National Livestock Transformation Plan at the Gongoshi Grazing Reserve in Mayo-Belwa LGA of Adamawa State.
The Vice President had said the plan is designed to run from 2019 – 2028 as part of Federal Government initiative and collaboration with States under the auspices of the National Economic Council.
However, CDD’s Principal Programs Officer, Yusuf Shamsudeen, during the meeting said if Nigerians can be educated on the terms of the implementation of the NLTP and critical stakeholders help in providing support and improvement on the existing plan and structures, the country will be better for it.
Yusuf, representing CDD’s Director Idayat Hassan, hinged the conference on the need to galvanize ideas, especially with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and government agencies for effective implementation of the NLTP.
“NLTP is very crucial to addressing the farmer/herder conflicts across Nigeria and beyond because it addresses some economic challenges confronted by the warring parties, like the scarcity of economic resources, water resources, among others, we believe that adequate implementation of the NLTP will be sufficient to address most of these problems.
“For instance, as CSOs, we are to provide support to the government and one of the key things which we think is quite important is for people to be aware of this because the implementation cannot be done in isolation of people who are the direct beneficiaries of such interventions to be ignorant.
“We cannot also do that without understanding the emerging concerns to farmers’/herders’ conflict in the country.
“So, one of the key things is that we need to dwell more on how to bring socio-coherence among these people because they need to work together for a common aim and we cannot do that without the need to address the differences between them,” he said.
Speaking also, the Special Adviser to the President on agriculture and coordinator, NLTP, Dr. Andrew Kwasari said the essence of the meeting is to take stock of achievements and way forward in addressing conflicts in the country.
Kwasari said there are security, livelihood, and relationship issues hampering the farmers’ and herders’ conflict resolutions.
“If you deal with livelihood issues, you are also dealing with security issues and when you deal with security issues you are also addressing more fundamental issues that affect the Nigeria economy,” Kwasari said.
He noted that the major thing to do is figure out is what every stakeholder is doing in terms of intervention and find a common ground outside the government and CSOs to adopt.
Dr. Chris Kwaja of the Centre for Peace and Security Studies at the Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola also noted that 19 northern governors have committed to resolving conflicts between the farmers and herders in line with the NLTP.
Kwaja said the state governments found the locations they want to work within the grazing reserves to remodel it as areas for livestock production.
“Almost all the governors believe in the NLTP and they know that because it allows them to implement in line with the realities of their situations so there is no one size that fits every state,” he added.
Other stakeholders present at the meeting include; the United State Institute of Peace (USIP), the Forum for Farmers and Herders Relations in Nigeria (FFARN) among others.