SENATE Committee on Agriculture said yesterday that it was supporting President Muhammadu Buhari’s order to import grasses for grazing from Brazil.
According to the Senate, the move to support the action of the Federal Government has become necessary as the importation of grazing grass for cattle at designated places across the country will offer a permanent solution to the drawn out crisis between farmers and herdsmen.
The committee also praised President Buhari’s order for the release of 10,000 tonnes of grains.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja, Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, dismissed criticism by some professors of agriculture who had opposed the move, adding that they had technology to grow grass, if they received government support.
He criticised the inability of the professors to give solutions to the problem of grazing over the years, adding that they lacked any moral right to criticise the government’s move.
Senator Adamu, who noted that importing grazing grasses and making them available to cattle rearers would stop the movement of cattle from one place to another, stressed that the move would also put paid to the growing spate of killings by herdsmen.
According to him, the government will provide pasture to reduce the continuous movement of cattle by herdsmen.
He noted that in the United States, pastures and water were provided to grow nutritious grass for cattle sustenance, adding that the government must face the reality of the moment by taking some painful decisions to end clashes.
“There are no easy fixes to the problem,” Senator Abdullahi said.
He also blamed the mindless killings by herdsmen on growing indiscipline among the herdsmen. Speaking further, Senator Adamu disclosed that President Buhari had ordered the injection of 10,000 tonnes of grains into the system to ease the pains caused by rising cost of grains in the country.
He also said that his committee had discovered that the administration of Buhari met many silos in the country empty, adding that his committee was impressed that the federal government had prioritised agriculture.
He said the Senate would provide the necessary legislative support for the presidency to restore the lost glory of agricultural sector in Nigeria.
The Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, had in March this year, announced that government had plans to begin the importation of grasses for cows to reduce the movement of herdsmen across the country. Ogbeh, had disclosed that Buhari was setting up grazing areas in various states of the federation as a response to the clashes.
Addressing his Idoma people in Abuja who protested the massacre of Agatu people in Benue State by herdsmen, Ogbeh said: “We are producing massive hectares of grass for the consumption of cattle; we have received these grasses from Brazil and we are growing them in massive quantities. “Cattle herdsmen want grasses for their cattle; such grass is what we are growing in large quantities and, within the next three months, some of these will be ready.”