Farmers/herders impasse: FG commits €400,000 to begin Livestock Transformation Plan in 4 states

From Okwe Obi, Abuja

In a bid to curb the lingering crisis between herders and farmers, the Federal Government has committed €400,000 to kick-start the implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) in Nasarawa, Adamawa, Plateau and Gombe States, respectively.

The Senior Special Adviser to President Muhammdu Buhari on Agriculture, Dr Andrew Kwasari, who disclosed this in a statement yesterday, explained that the fund was gotten from the government of the Netherlands for 30 pastoralist households.

Kwasari, who led a team from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Project for Agricultural Coordination and Planning (FMARD-PACE) to Nasarawa State said the visitation was to “review in particular the project appraisal document for the start-up site and ensure that the State team is clear on the roles and responsibilities of Nasarawa State Senior Management Team of the State Livestock Transformation Office and the Project Office.”

He added: “On the back of the MoU signed during the State visit of Mr. President to the Netherlands, the Dutch Investment Agency (RVO) approved a grant of about 400,000 Euros to cover 50% cost of the pilot start-up of NLTP model in Nasarawa State for 30 pastoralist households with a start date of March, 2021.

“Cownexxion (the lead consultant in this bilateral collaboration, leading the Dutch Consortium; the Holland Dairy House Group) will serve as technical partner for the implementation of the NLTP pilot ranches in 4 states: Nasarawa, Adamawa, Plateau and Gombe.

“In each of these states, a pilot farm, which will also serve as a training centre, will be developed. Cownexxion, is a leading Dutch consultancy focused on dairy farming. It has carried out projects in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

“The Company is experienced in improving technical and economic performance of dairy farming systems.

“The focus of the 2 and a half -year project will be on feed production, transfer of knowledge and skills plus the transformation of management. Cownexxion will work together with the Nigerian Federal and State teams, led by Dr. Andrew Kwasari.”

On his part, Nasarawa State Deputy Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, who said the state would fully participate in the scheme added that, “we are quite enthusiastic about this program starting in Nasarawa state. We feel it is a great honor that Nasarawa State was picked to pilot this project.

“We as a State have resolved not only to be in charge but also in control. We want to own it and make Nasarawa an envy of other States because we are supposed to showcase not only Nasarawa State, but the whole of Nigeria.”