An Ex-Vice-Chancellor of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Prof. Placid Njoku, has suggested that water-trap technology be adopted to stop herdsmen from open grazing. This, he said, would end the clashes between them and farmers.
Njoku attributed the frequent clashes between herdsmen and farmers to a clash of culture and rights rooted in genuine desire for survival.
Njoku, an agric expert, made the submissions in his lecture titled, ‘Furthering knowledge: Potentiating food security for national development,’ at the 8th convocation and silver jubilee of the university.
He said the perennial clashes between farmers and herdsmen were often ignited as herdsmen exercised their culture of being mobile and feeding their animals.
He said they clashed with farmers who, on the other hand, “exercise their culture to be sedentary and their right to plant crops to feed their families and the nation.”
On how to resolve the clashes, Njoku said, “The saving grace is to provide innovations, technologies and programmes to ensure safety for the herdsmen in the course of pasturing.”
He added, “He (herdsmen) should avail himself of social programmes of the government to achieve more secure environment for his animals.
“Potential programmes that can help water retention in the Savannah Belt, include the Great Green Wall Project, the Water Trap Technology and irrigation from high water tables. Such programmes will help in pasture and fodder production.”
Njoku made the suggestion even as the Abia State Police Command set up a committee to end the clashes between farmers and herdsmen in the state.
Members of the committee include representatives of farmers, herdsmen, the police, army, DSS, local government chairmen and traditional rulers.
Inaugurating the committee at the Police Officers’ Mess in Umuahia, the state Police Commissioner, Anthony Ogbizi, said the time for bickering over grazing land had gone.
He urged community leaders and residents of the state to prevail on one another to maintain the peace and not fan the embers of violence through permanent fixation on land ownership.
Source: ( Punch Newspaper )