Agriculture

HERDSMEN/FARMERS CLASHES: NEC WORKING GROUP RECOMMENDS RANCHING IN 5 STATES

*Says ranching sustainable model for livestock industry

The Technical Sub-Committee set up by the National Economic Council (NEC) Working Group has recommended the adoption of ranching in some of the states affected by farmers/herdsmen clashes as a sustainable solution to the conflicts.

Contrary to some online media reports, NEC did not discuss or pronounce a ban on the movement of herdsmen.

The Committee presented an interim report at this month’s NEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
The sub-committee is headed by Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, with the governors of Plateau and Adamawa states among the committee’s membership.

The Working Group also recommended that the state governments of the five affected states allocate land for this purpose.

The NEC Working Group, chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, which noted that ranching would enhance the production of healthy cattle in the country, identified the need to transform the livestock industry into a model for cattle production as one of the remedies for constant clashes between herdsmen and farmers.

Following its visit to five out of seven of the affected states, including Zamfara, Nasarawa, Adamawa, Taraba and Benue, the committee, in its report to NEC today, noted that a root cause of the conflict was the struggle for scarce land and resources.

Briefing the press after the NEC meeting, Governor Umahi said most of the killings, especially in Benue State, are carried out by herdsmen from outside the country and called for the deployment of more security operatives in the area.

Also, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbe, at the meeting, gave an overview of the Agriculture production initiative, which he said has contributed about 27% to the expansion of the Nigerian economy over the past 35 years.

“Agriculture is Nigeria’s single largest economic sector, accounting for 24% of the GDP in 2016 in spite of recession, and has consistently increased to 25.08% as at 2017,” he stated.

He listed out intervention programme rolled out by the Ministry for the Agriculture Production Initiatives in Rice, Maize, Sorghum, Wheat, Groundnut, Cowpea, Soybean, Millet, Sesame, Tomato, Onion, Okro, Cocoyam, Cassava, Yam, Ginger, Cotton, Cashew, Oil Palm, Cocoa, Fish, as well as Animal and Livestock.

Below are the highlights of the fourth NEC meeting in the year 2018:

NEC (4TH IN 2018) 87TH NEC MEETING –
THURSDAY, 26TH APRIL, 2018

A. PRESENTATION ON THE REVIEW OF DEVELOPMENT AND INVESTMENT IN THE AGRICULTURAL VALUE CHAIN IN NIGERIA BY HONOURABLE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT

Highlights:
· The Minister gave an overview of the Agriculture production initiative, which he said has contributed about 27% to the expansion of the Nigerian economy over the past 35 years
· He said that Agriculture is Nigeria’s single largest economic sector, accounting for 24% of the GDP in 2016 in spite of recession, and has consistently increased to 25.08% as at 2017.
· He listed out intervention programmes rolled out by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) for the Agriculture Production Initiatives in Rice, Maize, Sorghum, Wheat, Groundnut, Cowpea, Soybean, Millet, Sesame, Tomato, Onion, Okro, Cocoyam, Cassava, Yam, Ginger, Cotton, Cashew, Oil Palm, Cocoa, Fish, as well as Animal and Livestock
· He said the Federal Government is prioritizing improving productivity in a number of domestically focused crops with the aim of closing the gap between the demand and supply of these products through partnership with private investors.
· Under the Rice Value Chain – all rice producing states recorded an increase in rice production, with Lagos State having the highest increase of 30.5%.
· Milling capacity of the functional integrated rice mills has increased from 13 to 21 mills and from less than 600,000 MT capacity to the current 1,295,000 MT
· There was a total investment of a little over N300 billion, thereby saving $300 million Forex from import substitution through local processing.
To ensure food sufficiency:
· FG has a total of 33 Silo Complexes in different States of the federation for storage of grains produced, as well as Agricultural goods produced for exports under the Agricultural Commodities Exports scheme.
· Agricultural development in Nigeria has stimulated a lot of Private Sector Interests as manifested in the level of proposed investments so far appraised for agricultural sector, at the end of 6th week of ERGP Focus Labs. Notable among them is the launch of the “Green Alternative” which is to provide a disciplined approach to building an agribusiness ecosystem to solve food security, import substitution, job creation and economic diversification.
· Agricultural Development is also being funded by the Bank of Agriculture in 3 dimensions of Short Term, Medium Term and Long Term basis.

B. EXPERIENCE SHARING BY STATE GOVERNORS
· Meanwhile, some States shared their experiences on their Development Interventions and Investment in the Agricultural Value Chain in Nigeria.
– The States are Jigawa, Delta, Anambra, Lagos, Taraba and Kwara.
· The general objective, among others, is to transform the agricultural economy of their States and make it more competitive and investor-friendly;
– To create jobs for teeming unemployed youths
– Improve incomes and create wealth for farmers, processors and value chain operators.
– Diversify the State economy from crude oil.
Summary of the shared experiences by the States:
JIGAWA STATE
– Introduced Cluster Farming Initiative to refocus the mind-set of smallholder farmers to commercial potentials of farming activities to attain SDG.
– Land Acquisition and Resettlement Framework in conjunction with DFID – a framework for large scale land acquisition, compensation, integration and dispute resolution.
DELTA STATE
– Introduced State commodity prioritisation based on production efficiency and potentials for jobs and wealth creation.
– Youth Agricultural Entrepreneur Programme (YAGEP) Production and Processing Support Programme (PPSP) and Tractorization Scheme to boost development and investment in the commodity value chain.
KWARA STATE
– Farmers Cooperation Organisation to Compliment agriculture programmes.
– Acquisition of over 1,000 hectares of land for the training of youths in commercial farming.
ANAMBRA STATE
– Two-pronged strategy:
* Large scale commercial farmers.
* Smallholders farmers.
– Standardisation of farm products
* Improved activities of the extension officer
* Developed seed multiplication centres for various crops and on demand.

C. INTERIM BRIEFING OF NEC WORKING GROUP ON HERDSMEN/FARMERS CLASHES
Below are the highlights of the report:
· NEC Technical Sub-Committee visited five (5) front-line States out of seven (7) identified.
· The five (5) States visited are; Zamfara, Nasarawa, Adamawa, Taraba and Benue.
· The Sub-Committee identified broad issues common to the affected States, as well as unique circumstances and causes among them.
Outcome
· Conflicts in these States may have been exacerbated, but at their root is a common struggle for scarce land and resources.
· Livestock industry found to be extremely important in Nigeria with estimated cattle population of 19.22 million valued at N3.4 trillion.
· Livestock industry needs to be transformed by working towards peace and sustainable model for cattle production.
· Immediate need for FG, States, Private Sector Development Partners to act in the following areas in the selected States:
– Economic investments
– Security and peace building
– Information, education and strategic communication
– Regional collaboration
– Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E)
· Other needs:
– Ranch Design Plan – can be proposed/adopted for future use in other regions.
– Ranching policy – more important now for FG/States to explore ranching as a sustainable and perfect solution to prevailing farmer/herdsmen conflicts in Nigeria.
– Land allocation – Governors of the five (5) States will allocate land for this purpose.
– Youth Empowerment and Poverty alleviation should go hand-in-hand with ranching reforms.
– Consolidated Implementation – FG/States develop soon-to-be finalized consolidated plan based on the 5 pillars- Economic, Law and Order, Conflict Resolution, Communication and Humanitarian Relief.

D1. UPDATE ON ACCOUNTS BY ACCOUNTANT GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION
A. Report on Excess Crude Account (ECA)
· Accountant-General of the Federation briefed Council that the balance in ECA as at April 23, 2018, stands at $1,829,862,047.42
B. Balance in Stabilization Fund Account
· Accountant-General of the Federation also informed the Council that the balance in the Stabilization Account as at April 23, 2028 stand at N14,226,835,11.88
C. Balance in Natural Resource Development Fund Account
· The current balance in the Natural Resources Development Fund Account as reported by the Accountant-General of the Federation as at April 23, 2018 stands at N134,912,870,528.84.
D. Update on Budget Support Loan Facility
Accountant-General of the Federation reported to the Council as follows:
· 35 States commenced in 2016 collected N1.39 billion thereafter, they collected N1.11 billion
· The repayment of the facility was extended from 1 year to 2 years.
· Analysis of compliance level indicates that 52.5% was the highest, while 13% was the lowest with respect to the conditionalities for the Budget Support Loan Facility.
D2. UPDATE ON ECONOMIC RECOVERY AND GROWTH PLAN FOCUS LABS BY MINISTER OF BUDGET AND NATIONAL PLANNING
· The Honourable Minister of Budget and National Planning informed the Council that the six (6) weeks Focus Labs ended last week Friday, April 20, 2018.
· The next step is the open day scheduled for May 7, 2018 to display all the outcomes of the Labs. He urged States Chief Executives to attend or send representatives.
· The Honourable Minister appreciated the Vice President and other stakeholders (Governors and Ministers) that participated.

Released by:

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity
Office of the Vice President
26th April, 2018

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