Herdsmen under the aegis of Kulen Allah Cattle Rearers Association of Nigeria (KACRAN) have decried multiple taxations and unnecessary levies placed on members by local and state authorities.
They say such are among factors hampering pastoral farming in Yobe State.
The Association’s National President, Khalil Mohammed Bello disclosed this on Thursday in Damaturu while chatting with DAILY POST on some of the issues presented at the recently concluded maiden ‘Agricultural Retreat’ organised by Yobe State government.
Bello further enumerated some challenges that the pastoralists are facing in the course of carrying out their ancestral occupation to include: encroachment by farmers and other community leaders into gazetted and ungazetted grazing areas as well as narrowing and total blockages of cattle routes.
“Dilapidation of existing water infrastructure, such as earth dams, bore holes, cemented wells and other ponds, shortage of animal food or fodder as well as grazing areas, shortage of veterinary drugs and vaccines”, he added.
Other challenges according to the KACRAN’s National President are; negligence and inadequate governmental assistance to pastoralists and insecurity of herders and livestock as a result of insurgency and banditry.
On how to surmount these enormous challenges bedeviling the herdsmen in the state, Bello urged state and local governments to indicate interest in the practice of pastoralism as this can be done by making statutory allocations of revenue to the livestock rearers through appropriate channels.
He also emphasised the need for Yobe state government to create a ministry to cater for the development, management and improvement of revenue generation fro pastoralism, suggesting that such a ministry can be called Ministry of Animal Husbandry, Pastoral Resources and Infrastructure Management.
“We want the government to provide free and subsidized medical services and vaccination. In fact, the State government should own a veterinary pharmacy or encourage the establishment of same by the private sector.
“Government should get local and international investors to invest in the building of Pastoralism based industries dairy products industry, hides and skin based industry, animal feed production industry.
“Pastoralist should be given interest – free loans for the purchase of cows and purchase of animal feeds and for the establishment of fodder banks.
“Pastoralists should be given tax breaks and other incentives”, he demanded.
According to Bello, recovery of encroached grazing fields and creation of new ones should be one of the focuses of the authorities concern.
” The opening up of blocked cattle routes should be a priority to government.
Rehabilitation of dilapidated pastoral infrastructure water dams, ponds, wells, and fodder banks etc should be of concern to all.
“Provision should be made for nomadic education of Pastoralists in the annual budget of the state”, he stressed.