The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in its efforts to resolve the incessant crises between farmers and cattle rearers has resolved to collaborate with the Surveyor-General’s office in mapping out areas for its proposed Grass growing programme.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, disclosed this on Thursday, 21st January, 2016, during a meeting he held with the Survey-General of the Federation, Surv Ebisintei Awudu, in the Ministry.
Chief Ogbeh stated that time has come for Nigeria to start thinking and planning on how to feed her population that is projected to reach 500 million by the year 2050.
The Minister explained that because of the problem associated with reviving the old grazing reserves, it has become very imperative for lands to be mapped out for the growing of grass for wandering cattles. He said grasses would be grown all over the country, while abattoirs would be built so that Nigeria would have enough grass to feed the cattles as well as produce enough milk and meat to feed the growing population, saying, “If Israel could grow grass in the desert, Nigeria can do it.
Chief Ogbeh said research has shown that Nigeria ‘s grasses are very rich , basing his judgment on the grasses taken from Nigeria to Brazil 16 years ago , he solicited the support of State Governors in making the programme achievable by providing 5000 hectares of land each for the programme. He thanked the Kano State Governor for providing five sites for the grass growing programme.
The Minister also solicited the support of the office of the Surveyor- General in locating areas where the programme could be located with zero conflicts.
Responding to the request of the Minister, the Surveyor-General of the Federation, Surv Ebisintei Awudu, said his office has the mandate to carry out mapping of the entire Nigerian landscape and promised to get all the data concerning the existing grazing sites and routes to enable them know where the programme could be sited.
Surv. Ebisintei stated the need for synergy between his office and the Ministry and pledged the readiness of his office in ensuring that the vision of President Buhari in boosting food sufficiency is realized.
In his contribution, the Director, Geodesy and Special Survey, office of the Surveyor-General of the Federation, (OSGOF), Surv. Barde Jatau, pledged their readiness to provide technical support to the programme, saying they have the strategies and expertise to achieve results.
Surv. Jatau however pleaded with the ministry for equipment support, saying lack of funding has been the bane of their office in achieving its mandate.