By Laleye Dipo
The Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, has said that the 30,000-hectare grazing reserve at Bobi in Mariga Local Government Area of the state is almost already.
This is just as three firms have indicated interest in investing in the grazing reserve.
The Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mary Noel Berje, quoted the consultant for the project and Emir of Muri in Taraba State, Alhaji Abbas Tafida, as saying that already, 2,000 high breed cattle are now in the reserve.
According to Berje in a statement in Minna Monday, the consultant, who was briefing Governor Bello during a visit to the reserve, said that 200 hectares of super “napia”, and 100 hectares for super grains have been planted in the reserve, adding that in a few weeks time, the reserve will be wearing a new look.
The statement said that strict security and medical measures have been introduced to ensure the security of cattle and their owners and their wellbeing which include any cattle coming into the reserve undergoing rigorous medical checkup, subjecting them to quarantine and vaccination to avoid any outbreak of disease amongst the cattle and herders.
The consultant, the statement said, told the governor that as part of security measures and practice adopted to safeguard such type of farm, an agreement has been reached for the construction of perimeter fence for the entire reserve but asked government to serve as a guarantor for the consultant in their bid to secure loan for the job.
The statement quoted Governor Bello as saying that government has secured the commitment of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the realisation of the project.
The governor said Chi Vita, Friesland Campina WAMCO Nigeria, a Dutch firm are some of the companies working on the 10,000 hectares of land, while collaborations are ongoing with developed countries that are advanced in livestock and dairy production such as Hungary, Brazil, Netherlands, India, Pakistan.
The idea of the grazing reserve was conceived as a result of the incessant farmers/herders clashes that had become threat to lives and property in the country.