The minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has said that agribusiness in the livestock sector will be improved and expanded to include commercial production of grass for feeding cattle. This, the minister said, would bring to an end the roaming of the cattle rearers and perennial conflicts between the pastoralists and farmers all over the nation.
“We are taking a radical step and we are beginning now. We are going to grow grass on a very large scale all over this country. I am as rigid as a rock that we are going to grow grass,” Chief Ogbe maintained. He disclosed that some grasses taken from Africa to Brazil and subjected to 16 years of research for use in that country, produces 28 per cent crude protein. It will be brought in for use under this programme. “By April ending (2016), the first grass supply should be on the way if not already arrived,” he said.
The minister noted that, with the continued existence of “cattle grazing and stock routes, conflicts still continue to grow, with cases of deaths rising along the routes.”
To reverse the untoward trend, Ogbeh said: “Cattle roaming has to end. We just have to grow grass. The largest cattle ranch in the world is in Saudi Arabia, with 153,000 cows, and the country sells milk to other gulf states.”