The Nigerian government on Tuesday reeled out a plan it hopes to address conflicts between herdsmen and farmers with. 

Tagged, National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP), it will run from 2018 to 2027. The government said it was a multifaceted intervention that would modernise livestock management in Nigeria, and help achieve improved productivity and security.

A press conference on the plan was held in Abuja. 

The government says the NLTP is a comprehensive plan that covers everything from Economic Investment to Humanitarian Interventions to Conflict Resolution and Strengthening of Law and Order.  

Ten ‘front-line’ States have been identified for the pilot implementation of the plan and they are Adamawa, Benue, Ebonyi, Edo, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Oyo, Plateau, Taraba and Zamfara. 

The implementation of the plan will be coordinated at both Federal and State Levels, and the government said the multi-level partnership was critical to the success of the plan. 

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The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, told reporters that all interest groups have agreed that ranching is the way forward for the management of Livestock in Nigeria.

"Not just to prevent conflicts, but also to improve yields and productivity, and derive maximum economic benefit. 

"The Federal Government, working with State Governments and other stakeholders, intends to transition pastoralists to ranching.

"A Ranch design Plan has been proposed in models of various sizes clustered in 94 locations across the 10 pilot States," he stated.

Funding issues for the Ranching Plan have also been addressed, with the plan making room for a Public Private Partnership (PPP) approach.

Sustainable investment in Nigeria’s Livestock sector will require active participation from the private sector, the Minister also hinted. 

With the implementation of the pilot phase of the plan, the government hopes to establish seven breeder ranches, establish 94 pasture lands and also make them operational.

"Open grazing is no longer viable, that’s why we’re switching to Ranching.

"We will do everything needed to stop clashes between farmers and herdsmen.

"The Government is not going to seize any land from anybody in order to achieve Ranching," the Minister assured Nigerians.

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Others in attendance were the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom and the Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi was also represented by Mr Joseph Ekumankama.  

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