The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh has confirmed that 16 out of the nation’s 36 states have indicated interest in hosting the proposed cattle colonies.
The minister had proposed cattle colonies as a solution to the frequent farmers/herdsmen clashes that have left many dead, including 73 persons in Benue state on New Year’s Day.
The confirmation came through the minister’s Special Assistant, Dr Olukayode Oyedele, The Nation reported.
He equally noted that many more states were waiting to join the initiative.
However, he reportedly declined to name the 16 states that have joined and those waiting to join.
While Abia, Benue and Taraba have publicly declined to join the initiative, Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has indicated interest.
Speaking about the initiative, the minister defined the colony as “a place where many owners of cattle can co-exist, be fed well, because we can make their feeds; they can get good water to drink, cows drink a lot of water and we can give them green fodder.”
He added that government will provide veterinary services and protection against rustlers for the colonies, which will comprise between 20 and 40 co-located ranches.