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Ondo Farmers React To Akeredolu’s Quit Notice To Fulani Herdsmen

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Farmers in Ondo State have given Governor Rotimi Akeredolu thumbs up for ordering Fulani herdsmen out of state owned forest reserves.

Recall that Governor Akeredolu had ordered Fulani herdsmen to quit the state’s forest reserve within seven days due to the continued security challenges in the state.

The governor also banned night and underage age grazing including movement of cattle in both the cities and highways in the state.

Reacting to the development, farmers under the aegis of the Ondo State Agricultural Commodities’ Association (OSACA) said the quit notice is a relief to them considering the wholesome activities of the herdsmen in the bush.

They stated this on Wednesday in a statement signed by the OSACA Chairman and Secretary, Messrs Gbenga Obaweya and Ayo Omogie respectively and issued to journalists in Akure, the state capital.

According to them, “Farmers in Ondo State express our unflinching support to the order the governor gave on calling herdsmen to vacate all forest reserved areas in the state, banning night grazing and movement of cattle in cities and highways in the state.

“This order has brought lots of hope to farmers in the state because of the activities of these criminal elements who have turned our forest reserves into hideouts for carrying out unlawful activities, while farmers can no longer be said to be safe to do their legitimate business.

“We strongly believe that such an important order should be backed up with relevant legislation as a matter of urgency. The grazing bill before the House of Assembly should therefore be given an accelerated passage.

“The social and economic impact of these nefarious activities of the herdsmen if not quickly checked will lead to severe famine in due season, as farmers are leaving their farmland in droves for fear of being attacked, raped or kidnapped as these have become a recurring issue.

“The governor’s order is imperative for it will save farmers from becoming paupers and insolvent as these herdsmen graze freely on their crops on daily basis. Most of these farmers took loan from different financial institutions to establish their farm.

“The recent price increase of agricultural commodities is not unconnected to the activities of herdsmen for they have grazed most of the farm produce and even fed their cattle with it. It is on record that farmers in Ondo State have lost over 2000 hectares of rice and over 3000 ha of cassava just to mention a few to herdsmen activities across the state.”

The farmers, therefore, called on adoption of technology in rearing livestock and more stringent conditions to make agribusiness profitable and safe.

Further, the statement reads: “We advocate the use of modern day technology, to rear livestock which will not impair other people business. Using technological methods has proven to be more beneficial and profitable to livestock owners.

“We wish to reassure the Governor and the entire government that we are in full support of these measures and even call for more stringent ones to make our lives and investments safer.”

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