By Olukayode Babalola, Lafia
The Centre for Social Change and Economic Development Nigeria (CSCED) says it is training 600 farmers and herders on alternative feedstock and commercial opportunities from its value chain development in Nasarawa state to mitigate farmers/herders crisis in the state.
Prof. Olusola Aderinola, Project Facilitator for the Non Governmental Organization (NGO) and an animal scientist disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lafia on Monday.
Aderinola said that the aim of the training is to reduce or bring an end to conflict between herders and farmers by training them especially the herders or livestock farmers on how to maximize alternative resources for their livestock thereby reducing conflict with crop farmers.
“They will be trained on how to produce multi nutrients drugs by themselves, how to produce silage for their cattle and how to prepare urea and so on. All the materials have been given to the extension agents,” he said.
He explained that the NGO has trained 20 agricultural extension workers who will in turn train 30 farmers/herders each in strategic locations across the three senatorial zones of the state to adopt the steps so as to reduce or end the conflict between farmers and herders in the state.
“Last year we had a training with the extension agents here. This year we organised a step down training with them and some materials distributed to them for training of the crop farmers and livestock herders.
“We want them to be well trained in all the resources available locally and how they can adapt and utilize it so that they don’t go to farms of crop owners to destroy them. They can also preserve most of these resources for use during the dry season when the conflict is usually high.
“The extension agents will today be meeting with farmers and herders in the fields to start stepping down the training” he said.
Aderinola added that the training is being conducted in collaboration with with the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the ministries of Agriculture of Taraba, Benue and Nasarawa states where the programme is being implemented.
In an another interview with NAN, Mr Ibrahim Ogiri, Team Leader of the extension agents in the state explained that the crop farmers are further trained on how to liaise, understand and build a cordial relationship while also supporting the herders by allowing livestock animals to graze their crop residues.
“We are changing their mindsets and telling them that the leftover crops in the farms after harvesting are still important and useful. They can be processed, stored and sold out or given to the herder just to create a cordial relationship between them,” he said.
He described the training as impactful and capable of changing the mindset of both parties towards working together and making good use of the local resources available for their mutual benefit.
He said the formulation of alternative feeds using ammonia, urea and aroma therapy would help to reduce the conflict over natural resources and enhance nutrition for the animals and fertility of land for the farmers.