By Laleye Dipo in Minna
Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari will inaugurate the expanded 45,000 Bobi grazing reserve in the Mariga local government of the state.
The governor did not give the exact date the inauguration will take place but said finishing touches were being put to the development of the reserve including gazetting the project.
Governor Sani Bello was quoted as disclosing the plan when he received the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, during the latter’s visit to him at the Niger House in Abuja on Thursday.
A statement by Mary Noel Berje Chief Press Secretary to the governor said Bello disclosed that “the state government will, in the next three months, flag off its over 45,000 hectares grazing reserve in Bobi, Mariga Local Government Area of the State” adding that “government is also in the process of gazetting seven other grazing reserves in parts of the State
“We have about 20 grazing reserves in the state, only two (Bobi and Girin) have been gazetted but hopefully, overtime, we’ll develop others”
“There is no going back on the development of grazing reserves in the state because it is the best solution to curtail the Herders/Farmers conflict and also develop one of our areas of comparative economic advantage.
“We will develop our grazing reserves where we can keep the herders and provide the infrastructure so that they can get better yields with regards to milk and beef,” Governor Bello was quoted as saying.
In his remarks The CBN governor expressed the readiness of the bank to “provide a wide range of agricultural opportunities for the country by assisting state governments “not only in the areas of rice and cassava production but most importantly in the development of livestock and dairy business”.
The CBN Governor was also quoted as explaining that, “under the livestock and dairy development programme, the apex bank is looking at the possibility of discouraging importation and encouraging the production of milk from different parts of the country beginning with Niger state.
“We intend, hopefully, to get Mr. President to come in to launch the first Grazing Reserve that’s going to be resuscitated under the programme that we are putting in place”. Emefiele was reported to have said.
He assured that funding would be provided by the CBN to the private sector entities adding that they would be expected to recover their money from the milk that is going to be sourced from the livestock.
“The private sector will work directly with the CBN and the state. They will invest by providing the Pastures, Seedlings and the infrastructure that will also guarantee constant supply of water to enhance the production of quality milk”.
The CBN governor was accompanied on the visit by top officials of the Apex bank.