OrderPaperToday – The federal government through the ministry of agriculture has unveiled plans to mitigate the persistent farmers and herdsmen clashes in the country.

Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Audu Ogbeh said the ministry would develop paddocks  to  grow grasses, develop boreholes and dams  for cattle rearing across the hinterlands.

Ogbeh said that the current crisis between herdsmen and rural farmers was having a major setback for the agricultural sector.

He said the project would enable herdsmen to have a more organised life, where their children would have access to education and other basic needs.

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The minister said: “We are facing a major national problem between herdsmen and rural  farmers and we have to bring the crises to an end.

“There is too much death,  violence and too much destruction, gun fire is being used by the herdsmen against rural farmers.

“So we will go for massive nutritive grasses across the hinterland because what the cattle want is grass and water and we have the capacity to grow the grasses they want.

“If it can be done in Kenya and Saudi Arabia, there is no reason why we cannot do it here. So there is a sizeable provision in the budget to grass up the hinterland.”

The minister also that as part of the ministry’s determination to take agriculture to the next level, it would improve on bee production, hides and skin, bush mango seed (ogbolo), life stock, cotton and groundnut among others.

He said  the ministry would  also consolidate on local staples , particularly rice and wheat, which  consume 11 million dollars a day  in import.

Ogbe also revealed that the ministry would  introduce two  programmes to assist young Nigerians and women.

According to him, small factories will be built in large quantities for them, rather than allowing them to go through the rigour of acquiring land, loan and equipment.

Speaking on performance of 2015 budget of N12.8 billion,  the minister said that 50 per cent of the Capital Appropriation was released while 18 percent of the amount released was utilised.

He added that 97 per cent of Personnel Appropriation was released, while 99 per cent of the amount released was utilised.

He said the 2016 budget proposal stood at N40.9 billion made up of N34.5 billion representing a total of 84 per cent for Capital Projects.

He also that  N235 million representing 0.6 per cent  was earmarked for Overhead Cost and N6.1 million, representing 15 per cent of the total proposal was assigned for Personnel Cost.

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