Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Buhari To Use PTF Blueprint To Resolve Farmers/Fulani Clashes

President Muhammadu Buhari is considering adopting the blueprint he formulated during his tenure as chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) in resolving the frequent clashes between farmers and Fulani herdsmen in the country.

Accordingly, the president has directed the Ministry of Agriculture to perfect strategies on how to put an end to the clashes that have claimed innocent lives.

The permanent secretary in the ministry, Mr. Sunny Echono who gave the hint while briefing journalists after meeting with the president said they were at the Presidential Villa to update Buhari on the activities of the ministry.

According to him, the president outlined the blueprint to involve the creation of grazing reserves and stock routes.

“Incidentally, the president had received a detailed report on this when he was at the PTF on how to resolve this problem and this blue print is going to be made available to us, together with experts and others who have also worked on the subject”, Echono stated.

He noted that the recent national economic committee resolution chaired by one of the state governors will also be considered.

He said, “We are going to look at all of this and come up with proposals that will address this problem. We are looking at the possibility of delineating stock routes with monuments and establishment of grazing reserves.

“We are also looking at the issues of ranches across the country and addressing the reality of the farmers’ challenges in terms of the cost of pastures.

“If we localize all our pastures, you need to provide pasture and the ranges vary depending on the region you find yourself. These peculiar problems are the things that will come up in the blue print”.

The perm sec. further hinted that President Buhari also urged the Agric ministry to ensure that the agriculture extension services scheme is restored and to also create job opportunities for the youth through agriculture.

On the appellate system reversed by some state governments, Echono said it was one of the issues he discussed with the President.

He added that based on the directives that will get very shortly,maybe ministry will be able to get across to all the other states.

He said, “For obvious reasons, you know we went through a transition and usually we roll out our GES early in the year and when we were unable to do so, they took the initiative of procuring the fertilisers, but they were actually in contact with us and they are also trying to use our platforms to ensure effective delivery of those fertilisers.

“There will be no policy change. The GES is the most effective, transparent and accountable way of ensuring farm inputs gets directly to the farmer without intermediaries and without all the various corrosive behaviour that used to attempt the process. So, we are on course with the project and we have the support of all the states”.

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