The Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory, Dr. Ramatu Tijani has reiterated the commitment of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to ensuring peaceful and mutual co-existence between Farmers and Herder in the four area councils in the city.
Dr. Ramatu while speaking in Abuja on Tuesday at the flag-off ceremony of sensitization campaign to promote integration and peaceful co-existence between pastoralists and farmers and the distribution of livestock input noted that FCTA aim at ensuring the co-existence and creating enabling environment for economic development.
According to the minister, the sensitization programme aim at promoting integration, peaceful co-existence as well as boost livestock production in the FCT whilst promoting peaceful co-existence towards harnessing the huge potentials that exists in the livestock sub-sector.
“The FCTA is therefore engaging in continuous dialogue and sensitization of the two groups on the inevitability of mutually beneficial inter-dependencies and the importance of living in peace to guarantee economic development”.
“It is pursuant to this objective that the FCTA has been implementing programmes towards creating the enabling environment for the two groups as well as other willing investors to make a positive impact in enhancing food security and socio-economic wellbeing of the populace.”
Dr. Ramatu added that the establishment and development of the grazing reserve is aim at providing pastoralists and farmers with an integrated evolvement under which both can operate optimally, and access their needs in a harmonious environment and eliminate issues that would result in conflict.
“The overall objective is to promote peaceful co-existence towards harnessing the huge potentials that exists in the livestock sub-sector.”
Similarly, she said the FCTA has also been discussing with the investors and development partners on the establishment of value chain ventures in the livestock sub-sector, so as to develop needed infrastructure, create more job opportunities, and improve lives and livelihoods of the communities within and around the FCT grazing reserves.
“Plans are also underway with the Africa Development Bank (AFDB) to establish a modern special agro industrial processing zone, to enhance sub production in the FCT.”
“We shall continue to work closely with relevant stakeholders such as Area Council authorities, community leaders and security agencies to sustain the peaceful building processes necessary for changes and achieving the desired result.” She added.
The Acting Secretary, Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Mr. Ibe Chukwuemeka noted that the importance of livestock sector in the quest to attain food security cannot be over-emphasized and if well harnessed will generate jobs and income as well as provide nutritional value that is required for healthy development.
Meanwhile, Mr Chukwuemeka said the incidences of violent conflicts between pastoralist and farmers have hindered efforts of government to unearth the potentials of the sector towards achieving the desired objectives.
He thereby noted that efforts has been put in place by the FCT Administration through aggressive community engagement which has helped to create greater trust and understanding and minimized clashes between the two groups.
“We are optimistic that this gesture will help us in achieving the feeds that have been craving for, most especially now that we are in the dry season where there are taxable activities.
We will be reciprocating this programme in other FCT grazing reserves located in gwagalada, Bwari and Kuje area councils.”
“Our message today is to let them know that FCTA cares and without peace, there will not be development and progress.” He added.