David Kassa, Taraba State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, has broken his silence on why the entire grazing reserves in the state were converted into ranches.
Apart from the conversion, the state, according to him, has as well designed a model pilot ranch to be established in each of the senatorial zones in the state.
These, he made known today at the flag-off of the distribution of pasture establishment materials to herders and farmers in the state.
The ranches, if eventually established, he said, will serve as demonstration and teaching centres where farmers and herders will cohabit.
More to the foregoing, the ranches, he said, will offer interested youths and women the opportunity to learn skills for ranching and modern livestock production.
While calling on the beneficiaries of the programme to make meaningful use of those inputs given to them, he lauded the efforts of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) for deeming it fit to initiate programmes that would bring both farmers and herders in the state together.
Earlier Fred Kafeero, the Country Representative of the FAO in Nigeria, said the aim was designed to bring to an end the incessant fracas between herders and farmers in the state adding that it would help in preventing conflict and promoting peaceful coexistence between the duo.
Elated by the measures put in place by the state government to end farmers/herders conflicts ,the project, as affirmed by him, would be achieved through improved land, alternative feedstock and water management which was to reduce competition over natural resources.
The gesture, he said, will further reduce encroachment into grazing reserves earmarked by the state for the development of the National Livestock Transformation Plan of the Federal government.
As at the time of filing this report, the organisation, he said, has piloted modern ranches on three hectares of land in Mayo-Kam grazing reserve of Bali Local Government Area of the state through mechanised land preparation and provision of water harvesting structures.
A herder beneficiary who gave his name as Mallam Ardo Musa, said the much anticipated ranching has begun with the distribution of pasture establishment materials.
Items distributed to facilitate the ranching process are Napier Grass planning materials, among others.