FULANI HERDSMEN : Let us Abandon The Cow and Import Beef - FAYOSE

Let Us Abandon the Cow:
Beef is taken for granted in Nigeria because it is always available. Yet, the people who sacrifice their entire life to produce it do not enjoy any subsidy in any way from government and others look at them with disdain, if not outright contempt.

People opposed to free range grazing and establishment of grazing reserves talk about ranching as the only solution. But ranching is practically impossible to our herders.

The average herd size in Nigeria is less than 40 cattle. At an average cost of N100,000 per cow, the entire family asset is therefore not more than N4 million. To make a ranch of 13 hectares that will host 40 cows, you need nothing less than N50 million according to a conservative estimate I prepared yesterday for a publication. So Nigeria is asking a citizen with a total asset of only N4million to transform himself overnight into a N50 million millionaire or get killed.
You see, beef is like the maize, rice and cowpea we produce. These commodities are produced by millions of farmers with average farm size of far less than a hectare each. What do you think will happen if we ask all of them to abandon the tiny farms and adopt even a small scale mechanized farming, overnight, because they have conflict with herders?
I sometimes wonder how our elite think in this country.
Grazing reserves in each local government at least across parts of the North that are hospitable to herders is the best solution for now. But even that proposition is opposed by some people - that FG money - their money - must not be used to develop the reserves. Yet other forms of farming can enjoy FG patronage and subsidy: Rice, fish, pigs, cassava, etc. Not the cow because it is not Nigerian.
Meanwhile, most of the elite who attempted ranching failed woefully in this country. They thought there is money in bovineculture. To their harsh experience, they realized that government does not subsidize vet services and inputs, and no authority to ensure the security of lives and property on the farms. Even a serving Vice-President could not protect his farm from menacing rustlers in the Northwest.
We hardly appreciate that these barefooted, education and luxury-denied herders are toiling hard, with their sweat and blood, to subsidize the beef on our table and the milk in Fura that is now turning into a national drink.

The criminal activities of few Fulani are used to stigmatize herders collectively as if anyone has prevented government from carrying its duty to arrest the criminals. Or when just a cow strays, that becomes a reason to kill the herd and the herdsmen - and go to the press crying foul. The victim, who has no press behind him, becomes the culprit and branded a terrorist as soon as he retaliates after government has treated his complaint with indifference.

I wish, wallahi, my people will abandon these animals. Let us import meat with the tonnes of Dollars that Nigeria has.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, please wallahi, we want you to abandon the cattle and watch poultry farm and rabbit grow more rapidly (Those are even healthier than cow meat). Establishment of grazing reserves is a subtle way of encroaching on other peoples's possesion and evil taking over of the south as they did the north several years ago forcing us to go back to the stone age, indeed BACKWARDNESS as earlier said during 2015 elections.

    The so called criminality of few Fulani is well known to and loved by all of them and government subtly and intentionally fails in its duty to arrest the criminals for obvious reasons, the president is part of them "Fulani"

    If FG doesnt earmark and give land to poultry farmers, they buy anything they need. They do not give free lands to engineers to produce inverters and machines, the herdsmen are businessmen like every other Nigerian. (Imagine FG removing subsidy from almost everything) and giving "subsidy-free-lands" to herdsmen! They are doing business, let them struggle like others and those of you literate amongs them should allow them to be educated. It will do all of us good.


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