To further consolidate the farmers, and herders’ peaceful relationship in Kano, due to the establishment of the RUGA Settlement project, governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje inaugurated Stock Routes Demarcation Committee, to strengthen the RUGA project.
The inauguration was done at the Headquarters of Kano Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (KNARDA), Hadejia Road, Kano, during the Inauguration of Kano State Stock Routes Committee, donation of motorcycles to extension workers, and launch of the 2022 Dry Season Rice Production Input, Saturday.
Referring back to history he observed, “If you look at history, in those days there was no rift between farmers and herdsmen. That was when farmers could invite herders to come to their farmlands and get food for their cattle. When in return, farmers would get fertilizer for their farms from the visiting cattle.”
But two things were responsible for the change in the narrative, according to the governor, “…climate change, that affected some West African countries including Nigeria, that is why herders come to Nigeria in thousands. Sometimes they cut economic trees for their animals to get food.”
The other issue responsible for the change in narrative, he added, is “So also because of the population growth people began to encroach into the demarcated routes for cattle. With these two issues, the narrative changes.”
To do away with such hiccups, the governor said, the state government decided to establish RUGA Settlement at Dan Soshiya forest in Kiru local government, adding, “We now see the reason behind coming up with Stock Routes Committee that I am inaugurating today.”
Ganduje added that he wanted to change the pattern of cattle herders from socio-cultural to socio-economic, which informed the decision of the state government to send 75 Fulani youth to Turkey and learned artificial insemination.
The Stock Routes Committee was given Terms of Reference as, to supervise local government areas where such routes could be situated, mobilize relevant stakeholders for the project, assist KNARDA on how to identify potential routes, improve community participation, and give security support and conflict mitigation, among others.
Committee membership was drawn from the government side, security agencies, traditional institutions, farmers groups, herders groups, and Fulani associations.
“Managing Director of KNARDA is the Chairman of the committee, there are representatives of the Ministries of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Justice, Environment, Local Governments, Land, representatives of the Commissioner of Police, Director of the Department of Special Services, NSCDC, representatives of the 5 Emirates, Chairman of FULDAN and Miyetti Allah.”
After the inauguration of the Stock Routes Committee, the governor also inaugurated 5 vehicles, motorcycles donated by the state government, and UNDP to KNARDA Extension Workers and launched the 2022 Dry Season Rice Production Input supported by Agro-Processing Productivity and Livelihood Improvement Support Project (APPEALS).