By Vincent A. Yusuf
Stakeholders in the livestock subsector have converged in Abuja to chart the way forward in fighting the incessant cases of cattle rustling in many parts of the north, which threatens the development of the sector.
Organized by Growth and Employment in States (GEMS1), a DFID and World Bank funded programme supporting the Nigerian meat and Leather industry to discuss the upsurge in cattle rustling crime in Kaduna, Plateau, Katsina and Zamfara states.
Project manager in charge of feed development, Iliya Duniya said the project is concerned that increased in cattle rustling across the country is affecting the development of the meat industry and destroying farmers investments.
In his opening speech, the Regional Director, North-West of the Agricultural Transfarmation Agenda, Dr. Nyam Yususfu Leo said cattle bearers are today facing increasing threat by many crises today in the country.
He said cattle rustling are huge issue in dimension. It is happening in Nigerian because the pastoralists in Nigeria are exposed to many criminal elements that have weapon from conflicts across some African countries coming to steal cattle in country.
‘They steal these animals with conniver of pastoralists that have left Nigeria before and know where and how to get away with these animals. Some these animals are taken outside the boarder of the country and then come back in organized trucks as imported and sold in our markets,’ Leo said.
Dr Leo also noted that grazing reserves all over the country have been encroached upon by many crop farmers and urbanization leading to resource conflicts between crop farmers and herdsmen.
In his speech, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina said the ministry has put in place necessary machinery to check the menace through the establishment of inter and intra state control post manned by trained staff, through which animal transporting to south pass through.
The Minister represented by Dr Abdulganiyu Abubakar, Director, Federal Livestock department of the ministry said animals to be transported are issued with movement permit at the control post to curtail movement of stolen cattle.
The workshop brings together stakeholders from government, farmers, and investors in the livestock industry for extensive deliberation on the way forward.