The Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari has said that educating the Fulani in modern cattle farming would help them desist from marauding about and end the conflict between herders and farmers.
Masari further said there is no basis for comparison between an educated cattle rearer and an uneducated one in terms of output and productivity.
He admonished the Fulani to send their wards to schools to learn modern farming techniques and stop wandering around.
According to Governor Masari, cattle rearing is good business with the capacity to help the herders foot their bills and live a good life if well harnessed.
He also said herders in other climes who have realized this and availed themselves to learn and practice modern farming are among the richest today.
Masari disclosed this to the Fulanis at an event organized by the Department of Livestock and Grazing Reserves in preparation for the plans for the development of Ranch Centres in Katsina State.
He equally disclosed that the project would be in two phases.
“The purpose and objective of this project have been mentioned to the community. This project is not only for Fulani, it is for all those living in the 10 affected local governments and even beyond.
“The second phase of this project will involve both the Northern and the southern part of the state in the hinterland of the state where we have large numbers of livestock and people living in the densely populated area of Katsina.
“The objective is to restore what was there before and definitely enough, we have seen some old generations of Fulani that are here and also the community leaders that are here. We need to ask ourselves, what went wrong? We were living peacefully before.
“We know we have challenges in terms of land because of population explosion and climate change which most of us, especially in the forest, do not really understand. Maybe they thought it is the normal climate change that normally happens after every ten years.
“But It is important for us to understand that the whole world is facing climate change. Things are changing.
“For us to prepare ourselves to adapt to these changes and overcome them and move on, we need to be really informed and educated about what is going on.
“What 20 herds of cattle can do, today technology has made it possible for three or four herds of cattle to produce the same milk, in fact, meat for the family to be able to enrol their children into school.
“I think what the herders need to do is to enrol into school, to try to send their children to school to learn the modern rearing of cattle. We have seen in other countries, how they sent their children to school to become educated herders.
“Unfortunately, in our system…when they go to school, they feel they have become more important that they cannot be butchers.
“After all, it was through butchering that they were born, bred and educated. How can they now think that they are so important that they cannot be butchers anymore?
“All your traditional cows cannot in the best of times, especially during the rainy season produce one litre. But it is doable through education.
“Some people have done it. Those who have done it are human beings like you and me. They are not different. They took advantage of the opportunity for to learn.
“So That is why we want to establish schools. It is important to enrol your children in schools for the purpose of the economy and modern cattle rearing,” Governor Masari said.
Speaking at the occasion, the Special Adviser on Livestock Development in the state, Dr Lawal Usman Bagiwa, noted that the State Government would be implementing the project through the Livestock and Grazing Reserves Department.
He said about 7000 and 5000 hectares of land out of the 122,000 hectares had been earmarked for grazing, pastures and infrastructural development respectively, across the 10 most vulnerable Local Government to Banditry in the state.
“The State Government intends to intervene in 10 LGAs of Jibia, Batsari, Kurfi, D/Ma, Safana, Danmusa, Kankara, Faskari, Sabuwa and Dadume) who are more vulnerable to the problems of Banditry and Farmers/Herders clashes,” Bagiwa said.
The event had top government functionaries in the state, as well as Miyetti Allah and her other Fulani counterparts in attendance.