The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association has said that a cow could cost up to N2 million in Lagos State if the anti-grazing bill is passed into law in the state.
Zonal Secretary of Myetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association in the South West, during a one-day public hearing organised by the state House of Assembly on the anti-open grazing bill on Wednesday.
The Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday sent the bill on open grazing to the committee on agriculture after it scaled second reading.
It was entitled, “A bill for a law to Prohibit Open Cattle Grazing In Lagos State, the Trespass of Cattle Land And For Other Connected Purposes”.
During the public hearing, Usman appealed to the state government for assistance, noting that ranching is more expensive than open grazing.
Usman, who agreed that there were some criminally-minded herders, argued that raising a cow in one location could increase the price of a cow to as much as N2 million.
He also pleaded with the government to subsidise the cost of raising the cattle in one location.
“If cattle are bred in one place, the price could go up to about N2 million each. We agreed with some local chiefs in other states that anyone who wants to rear cows in a location should register and should indicate when he is leaving.
“A Fulani man moves from one place to another to ply his trade, but we have some bad eggs that are causing trouble. The government should allow us to talk to our people that they don’t want our cows to destroy people’s farmland.
“We have met with stakeholders in Ekiti, Ondo and even Oyo states and we reached agreements with them,” Usman was quoted as saying this in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker of the House, Mr Eromosele Ebhomele.
Also, the Chairman of Lagos State Butchers Association of Lagos State, Alhaji Alabi Bamidele Kazeem, advocated for support to cattle breeders, arguing that “rearing animals in one location could be expensive”.
On his part, the President of the Lagos State Sheep Farmers Association, Alhaji Mustapha Ibrahim, described the bill as “all-embracing and would ensure a symbiotic relationship between cattle rearers and farmers”.
He also advocated for legislation to promote the creation of farm estates across the state.
Security is important – Speaker
This was as the Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, said the bill was intended to create an atmosphere that would encourage peaceful co-existence among residents.
Obasa, who was represented by the Deputy Speaker, Wasiu Eshilokun-Sanni, said in his keynote address that it was important to address the issue of cattle rearing, especially as it affects security and other human desires.
The speaker added that the issues involved with the current ways of cattle rearing and open grazing called for concerted efforts for stability and economic development.
“If there is no security, there will be no peace and development. Farmers/herders clash appears to be the oldest. Both the farmers and herders are critical to food stability.
“Both of them affect our health. Their conflicts lead to insecurity and claim lives and properties. We must engage ourselves to make the right decisions,” the Speaker said.
Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, Kehinde Joseph, said the proposed law was meant to ensure peace between herders and farmers in the state.
According to Joseph, the proposed law is meant to ensure the registration of herders and prohibition cattle roaming.
“It will forestall herders/farmers clashes and redefine social and economic activities in the state.
“Members of cattle breeders association will be sensitised on the new development and we will ensure strict compliance with the law when it is passed,” he said.