February 22, 2024

Stakeholders Call For Improved Farmers/Herders Collaboration In Oyo As Dry Season Approaches

Agriculture stakeholders in Oyo state have called on farmers-herders in the state to synergize more and deepen mutual collaboration to enhance peaceful co- existence as the dry season approaches.

The stakeholders made the call during an Agricultural Conference programme held at the palace of Seriki Sasa, Ojo, Ibadan.

The event which was hosted by the Seriki Sasa, Alhaji Haruna Maiyasin at his Sasa Ojoo Palace Ibadan aimed to strengthen the farmers-herders relationship ahead of the approaching dry season when herders from up north usually lead their herds southward in search of grazing pastures.

The stakeholders recalled that herder-farmer conflicts in Nigeria have deep roots and date back to pre-colonial era lamenting the negative impacts it has caused over the years.

They noted however, that these conflicts have become more persistent in recent decades due to pressure emanating from population increase, climate change, and other various factors.

After a robust engagement at the event, participants agreed on the need for sustaining the relative peace and peaceful co-existence between the farmers and herders in the state adding that the same need necessitated the “All Tribes in Agriculture Conference” organized by the Nigeria Development Assembly.

In his remarks the honorable representing Atiba state constituency, Hon. Gbenga Oyekola maintained that the state will always prioritize the welfare of its farmers, adding that the distribution of Sustainable Action for Economic Recovery (SAFER) items to the poultry farmers in the state, was a clear testament of the love and passion the present administration in the state has for the farmers and agricultural development.

Another discussant at the programme, Honorable Gbenga Adeleke, who recalled the spate of insecurity in the country due to farmers-herders conflicts, charged the herders and farmers to be security conscious against the intruders and ensure proper and frequent profiling of their members at their local communities.

In their respective contributions, the State Chairman of Isokan Agbe, Mr Adenrewaju Odebunmi, the Chairman Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Ibrahim Abubakar, The Seriki Fulani of Oyo State, Alhaji Yakubu Bello, and the Otun of Agbe in Oyo State, Alhaja Sufia Bukhair, sued for Unity among various agriculture stakeholders while ensuring issues that often lead to clashes between the two groups are addressed devoid of ethnic bias.

In his words, the Chairman, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Ibrahim Abubakar said: “there’s always conflict between farmers and herders but both can not be separated.

“What we need is peaceful coexistence, and we must agree on that fact. There’s need for them to see themselves as partners in progress in their businesses.

“I’m happy that one of the panelists, in identifying the problem of Fulanis that are just moving around confirmed that those that are not residing with us are emigrants who migrated from countries like Chad and other neighboring nation’s.

“There’s need for the Fulanis to also understand that there’s civilization and things must be done in modern ways.”

While counseling farmers and herders in the state to always report their conflicting issues to concerned government authorities particularly officers of the Agro Rangers unit, NSCDC,Oyo State Command, the Head of Unit Agro-Ranger, NSCDC, Mr Alonge Isaac, called on the leaders of the herders and state traditional rulers to take responsibility and ensure unscrupulous elements among the tribes have no place to hide.

The well attended programme was attended by the leadership of the farmers and herders across the geopolitical zones of the state.

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