The endorsement of the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) by pastoral families and crop farmers in Gongoshi community as a way of promoting peaceful co-existence as well as enhancing their livelihoods is exciting and encouraging, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, has said.
The vice president stated this on Tuesday at the formal launch of the implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Programme at the Gongoshi Grazing Reserve in Mayo Belwa LGA, Adamawa State.
The Gongoshi Grazing Reserve will host 772 pastoral families and 190 crop farmers under the NLTP arrangement.
“I see that everyone is happy that we are able to launch the scheme here today and I have seen from the various placards being carried around that they intend that this will be a peaceful implementation of a very laudable scheme,” Mr Osinbajo said.
Speaking specifically about some components of the plan, the vice president said “the plan will provide a basis for peaceful coexistence, jobs for many, and a mechanism for resolving disputes.”
Continuing, Mr Osinbajo said the plan “is one that hopes to birth tailor made ranches where cattle are bred, and meat and dairy products are produced using modern livestock breeding and dairy methods.
“This solves the problem of cattle grazing into and destroying farmlands. It ensures a practical response to the pressures on water and pasture by forces of climate change.
“And it provides a modern meat and dairy industry and in some cases integrated crop farming. The unique feature is that any participating State will determine its own model.”.
Mr Osinbajo specially commended the efforts of members of N-Power team (the N-Agro) for their efforts in the enumeration of the 772 pastoral families and 190 crop farmers within the reserve.
The vice president also clarified that the NLTP was not synonymous with RUGA as speculated in some quarters, adding that RUGA remained suspended.
He said, “the unique feature is that any participating state will determine its own model. I wish to emphasize that this is not RUGA.
“The idea of RUGA settlements launched by the Ministry of Agriculture created a problem when it was perceived that this was a plan to seize lands to create settlements for herders. RUGA was not the plan designed and approved by the governors and the President rightly suspended the implementation.”
Earlier, Governor Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa State thanked Mr Osinbajo and the federal government for the support given to the state to implement the NLTP.
Crop farmers and pastoralists jointly presented gifts of caps, clothing and other local products to the vice president at the event.