The National President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Arch Kabir Ibrahim has said the ban on open grazing by the Southern Governors would make the implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) achievable.
He said open grazing reduces milk and meat production in cattle, and also reduces ovulation in female cattle difficult and make male unable to mate.
Ibrahim said “open grazing is a problem, and everybody should migrate towards zero grazing or controlled grazing because all over the world, this is what happens. He said the move by the Southern Governors to ban open grazing should be a wakeup call for the Federal Government to fast-track the implementation of the NLTP. “That is why the government is doing National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) which was presented and understood as RUGA.
“Whatever you are doing, whether NLTP or RUGA should be voluntary and it is the choice of the owner of the animal and there is no state that is compelled to do it. I personally have livestock and I do almost zero grazing because I know they could stray into people’s farm, I know they could be rustled, so it is in my own best interest that I do zero grazing, but it is very costly, but if am able to process the meat and milk that I get from the animals, I will offset the cost of zero grazing”, he explained.
He said they weren’t surprised that the Southern Governors would ban open grazing because the pastoralists drive their cattle through people’s farms and there are always problems.
“The Federal Government should hurry up with its NLTP so that this conflict would be mitigated. So, the call by the Southern Governors should be followed up by action even from them, they would embrace the NLTP, confine the animals that do open grazing so that they now have controlled grazing”, Ibrahim added.
He called for the education of the pastoralists on the benefits of keeping their animals in one place, “because if you roam the cattle from Katsina to Sagamu, by the time they arrive, they would have lost all flesh.
He said roaming of cattle reduces their market value, makes the female not to ovulate and the male not to mate with the female. But if they are in one place, the produce more milk and meat.