Cattle Rearing: Against the backdrop of the federal government stating that it would begin implementing cattle colonies in states, the Oyo state government has said that ranching remains the form of cattle production and development recognized in the state.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, Mr Oyewole Oyewumi who made this known at the weekend, said what was paramount in its adoption of the mode of cattle rearing was one that guaranteed an enclosure for cattle, no matter its number.
He, however, said the state was keen to know whether the cattle colonies proposed meant an enclosure where the movement of cattle was controlled and not a free range where cattle were allowed to roam.
“As a policy of the Oyo State Government today, we encourage ranching over any other method of cattle production and development. We have heard talks about grazing reserves and recently about cattle colonies. They sound very strange to us, especially the issue of cattle colonies been muted by the Federal Government. But, we await further explanations as to what cattle colony is.”
“What is critical to us as a state is that having cattle in an enclosed and controlled area. So, if the cattle colonies envisage a situation where the colony consists of an enclosure, no matter how large, where the movement of cattle is controlled, we may look at it.
But, if it is to be an open area where cattle will be allowed to walk around in a free range, I don’t think the Oyo State Government will accommodate that,” Oyewumi said.
He added that the state would soon have the Oyo state grazing control law aimed at establishing the state’s authority over cattle development and empowering the Ministry of Agriculture to designate land for ranching purposes.
Speaking on the state’s policy of zero tolerance for idle land, Oyewumi explained that the state had overcome the initial antagonism of landowners towards providing their land to investors for rent, lease or outright sale.
This development, he said, had translated into communities donating 150,000 hectares of land, across the state, for various agricultural purposes.