Nigerian Army to open cattle ranch in Abuja as military high command sets example for herdsmen

NIGERIAN military chief have announced plans to open up a cattle ranch in Abuja as part of the army's plans to help with the drive to achieve self-sufficiency in food production in a bid to boost national security.


Over recent months, a fierce debate has raged across Nigeria regarding the establishment of private cattle ranches to address the ongoing menace of marauding Fulani cattle herdsmen. Heavily armed nomadic herdsmen allow their cattle to roam across the country destroying farm crops and when local communities complain, the response has often been brutal and bloody.


In a bid to address the matter, some states have outlawed nomadic pastoralism and instructed all herdsmen to restrict their cattle to private ranches. Yesterday, the chief of army staff Lt General Tukur Buratai, said the Nigerian Army will support this programme by opening its own ranch.


He added that the Nigerian Army was investing in livestock, fisheries, poultry and other aspects of agriculture. According to General Buratai, the Nigerian Army currently boasts of about 1,000 herds of cattle in its ranches in different formations across the country.


General Buratai made the disclosure during the presentation of farm implements and items by the agriculture minister of Audu Ogbeh to the Nigerian Army in Abuja. He said the government’s efforts to achieve national security, including the fight against insurgency in the northeast, would be meaningless without food security.


"The army is going beyond carrying arms in the affected areas to ensure security. They are playing active role in supporting the nation’s agriculture potential.


"At the Nigerian Army Farms and Ranches located in Giri on the outskirts of the nation’s capital, the ranch, which is part of the Barracks Investment Initiative Programme of the Army, is stocked with over 30 tonnes of feed concentrates, machines for making feeds and grass seeds for producing pasture. The ranch has two breeds of about 300 cows and the army is planning to replicate these at all formations across the country," General Buratai said.