UPDATE: Nigeria to deploy satellites to track cattle movement

Mr. Jonathan mentioned that terrorists take advantage of pastoralism to cause mayhem among communities in the country.

Federal officials at the Ministry of Agriculture in Abuja are working on a comprehensive livestock information system that will require all cattle in the country to carry electronic chips, while satellite imagery and remote sensing technology are deployed to track their movements as a way to ease the perennial conflicts between herdsmen and farmers across the country.

The Minister of Agriculture, Akinwunmi Adesina, disclosed this, Monday, in Kaduna, at the international conference on security and development challenges of pastoralists in West Africa, where he also said governments must establish modern ranches and grazing buffer zones across border areas of countries, to support cross-border pastoralism.

Said Mr. Akinwumi: “Just like buffer dams help to prevent flooding downstream, grazing buffers zones will help alleviate the need for massive movement of live stock further south in to Nigeria,” emphasizing that because of their immense importance, the role of pastoralist in preventing insurgency and conflict to enhance national security, is a reality that cannot be taken for granted.

The technology-based solutions advanced by the minister will also be complimented by the establishment of “pastoralist transhumance certificates,” which he said if implemented “will go a long way in addressing several of the national security and development challenges arising from pastoralism.”

Participants at the Conference
Participants at the Conference

Earlier at the opening ceremony of the two days conference, President Goodluck Jonathan, represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo, said the government was doing all it can to making sure that pastoralism is controlled and effectively supported by government.

Mr. Jonathan mentioned that terrorists take advantage of pastoralism to cause mayhem among communities in the country.

“This conference will mark a turning point for the better in Agricultural sector of the country. The federal government is considering the ranching of animals and making the sector a robust one for the growth of the Nigerian economy,” Mr. Jonathan said.

The convener of the conference and National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, welcoming guests, said, Nigeria’s current challenges, made the conference timely and cogent.

The ECOWAS representative, Vivian Iwar, speaking on the ECOWAS Strategic Action Plan for the Development of Livestock in West Africa, said ECOWAS is currently planning to create one uniform certificate that will allow all cattle herdsmen hold when using the regional borders.

“ECOWAS is working on one single certificate that will allow all herdsmen move along the ECOWAS borders freely. The certificate will indicate where you come from and the region you intend to reach,” she said.

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