The Federal Government and farmers, under the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, also called West African Farmers Network, WAFN, yesterday, resolved to proffer solution to incessant herdsmen/farmers clash in the sub-region.
This was made known during a courtesy visit by WAFN delegation led by its President, Mamadou Cissokho, to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh.
Ogbeh, who was elated by the visit, assured them of Nigeria’s bigger role to make West Africa an agricultural powerhouse in Africa and stressed that sub-regional integration on agriculture development remained paramount in growing member countries’ economies.
He said: “It will be a fantastic thing for West Africa to become a powerful agricultural force so that we can become stronger economic region and more stable in food production. I thank them for coming. Nigeria will play a bigger role in the sub-region’s agricultural sector.
“Let me talk about the issue of pastoralists and farmers. We will meet to deal with this issue of cattle rearing because we can solve the problem in West Africa. The cows need not to move here and there.
“From early next year, we will discuss this more because through irrigation system and pasture development, we can bring these clashes to a halt and then increase our quantity of milk and quality of meat as we begin to work together including other areas of agriculture and we can form one large market of over 200 million people.”
Explaining the motive of their visit, President, WAFN, Mamadou Cissokho, said Nigeria’s role in agricultural development could not be over emphasized as the country remains strategic in making the sub-region a food powerhouse in Africa.
“We would like Nigeria to get more and more involved in the regional discussions on agriculture and food security, recognising the role Nigeria play in West Africa.
“We will also want to the Ministry to arrange within the group so we can meet with Mr President as a group on areas concerning agriculture in the Sub-region. One of the major areas of discussions is on livestock that is focusing on pastoralists and farmers, and cattle fringes in the sub-region.”