Kaduna State Government has said that the only way to solve the frequent farmers/herders clashes is to modernize livestock production and ensure that milk and other cattle byproducts are produced from settled locations.
Special Adviser to Governor Nasir El-Rufai on Media and Communication, Mr Muyiwa Adekeye who gave the advice on Arise TV, said that Kaduna state wants to achieve that with the Damau Milk Project.
It will be recalled that Governor El-Rufai signed a service level agreement between Kaduna State Government and Arla, a Danish company on Wednesday, to further unlock the investments necessary for a mall ranch.
Mr Adekeye said that “we have had enough talks about the root causes of farmers/herders clashes, about why nomadism persists in the 21st century. Talk will not solve the problem, it is action that will solve it, it is investment that will solve it.’’
According to the Special Adviser, the project will not only solve the problem of farmers/herders clashes, but will also ameliorate poverty and general insecurity when it comes on stream.
‘’There is a market for milk and milk products and Kaduna State Government has identified this opportunity to solve a problem of poverty, to solve a security problem and to solve the persistent farmers/herders clashes and has identified a strong technical partner in Arla,’’ he said.
Adekeye further disclosed that Arla will bring its own resources and will immediately begin constructing a 200 hectare demonstration farm and 1,000 nomadic herders that will be settled there to learn the modern techniques of producing cattle for milk.
The Special Adviser said the project could be replicated nationally in order to solve the perennial clashes between the farmers/herders across the country, by situating the herders in a permanent location instead of moving all over the place.
“Let the famers, their children and the workers on those farms have access to facilities like schools, hospitals; let the vet clinics be established around these clusters, let us improve the productivity of the cattle breed, raising milk yields and making the farmers economically comfortable.
‘’This is a multi-faceted effort to fight poverty, to encourage nomadic herders to move away from the culture of moving all over the place, encourages them to settle in one place not only with the facilities for modern living but with the commercial structures to ensure that what they produce has a ready off-taker with a strong partner like Arla working with us,’’ he disclosed.
It will be recalled that in January, 2020, there was groundbreaking ceremony at Kubau and about 10,000 hectares of land was allocated for the project, which is aimed to modernize livestock production, with Arla bringing in technical and commercial expertise.
Kaduna State Government has been constructing roads, bridges and other facilities on the farm and it is committing N10 billion to the project, which the CBN is providing as an intervention fund to encourage milk production and other products.