Before the Grazing Reserves and Stock Routes Are Created - Email Broadcast Version

This paper examines the conflict sensitivity of the policy of creating grazing reserves for transhumance pastoralists in Nigeria. It explores various past efforts to create grazing reserves in the country and the plethora of daunting challenges to the policy. Some of the challenges point to the impossibility of creating grazing reserves. The paper concludes, therefore, that a decision on the sedentarization of transhumance pastoralists has to be made by all stakeholders.
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  1 BEFORE THE GRAZING RESERVES ARE CREATED IN NIGERIA By Joseph Tanko Atang Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ilorin, Ilorin. and Director, Conflict Triangle Consulting 1 , 1 Ahmed Ali Close, Off Zambia Road, Barnawa, Kaduna. (Cell Phone: 08059126270, 08170418130  Email:  Discussions on the sedentarization of pastoralists have generated two opposite views. One view argues for the sustenance of pastoralism. The other view marshals the advantages of sedentarizing pastoralists, which include the improvement of their living conditions. The mitigation and possible elimination of conflicts between pastoralists and farmers is central to the argument for the sedentarization of pastoralists. This need alone makes the argument against  pastoralist sedentarization untenable because where there is conflict, there cannot be development. Therefore, the challenge in sedentarization cannot be the what  , but the how  . How should pastoralists be sedentarized? Should they sedentarize or should they be sedentarized? This paper is not intended to give answers to these questions. However, I believe that it is pertinent to make some observations on the issue from the perspectives of Conflict Resolution scholarship and practice, which are salient to answering the questions. The objective of this  paper is to ginger Nigerians, especially stakeholders, into identifying the challenges in the policy of grazing reserves development by critically examining its conceptualization, as well as its  planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation processes in order to establish their conflict sensitivity. This is more so as a Presidential Committee on Grazing Reserves Development and Settlement of Pastoralists  is currently at work. The fact that there are serious challenges with the sedentarization of pastoralists through grazing reserves creation in Nigeria is a pointer to the fact that something is wrong with the concept (policy), or its implementation, or the way grazing reserves and stock routes are being monitored and evaluated, or all of the foregoing. Without any intention to prejudice the minds of readers, let me hazard the possible outcomes of  putting the concept (policy), planning, implementation, the monitoring and evaluation of grazing reserves on the conflict sensitive scale. A conflict sensitive assessment of these factors may have four possible outcomes. The first outcome is that the process of formulating the policy may have to be revisited because of its being defective in part. The second is that the implementation of the  policy may have to be remodelled because it is not conflict sensitive. The third possible outcome is that the monitoring and evaluation of grazing reserves and stock routes may have to be redesigned. The fourth possible outcome is that the policy of grazing reserves creation may have to be jettisoned for an alternative model of sedentarization because it is defective in whole. But before delving into the observations, I want to briefly do a rehash of past efforts to create grazing reserves in Nigeria. 1   Conflict Triangle Consulting is a Conflict Resolution and Public Policy Consulting firm registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria. CTC engages in Conflict Resolution Practice, Conflict Resolution Training, Conflict Resolution Research, Public Policy Analysis, and Public Policy Monitoring and Evaluation.    2 PAST EFFORTS TO CREATE GRAZING RESERVES I am chronicling the many past efforts to create grazing reserves in Nigeria only to call attention to the fact that, considering that we are where we are now in spite of the many past efforts, the task of creating grazing reserves is a herculean one indeed. This is more so as the issue currently dovetails into many spheres of the Nigerian polity like ethnicity, religion, politics, the growing sensitivity of land matters, etc. I attempt a rundown of the past efforts below, without going into the details. It is important to state on the outset, however, that with the political will, an appreciation of subsisting geo-political and cultural realities and sensibilities, an appreciation of the fact that change is the only constant in life, and a spirit of give and take by all stakeholders (particularly governments, pastoralists, agricultural communities and ―owners‖ of land) , the challenges of sedentarization are not insurmountable. With the fulfillment of the aforementioned conditions, it will be much easier for stakeholders to arrive at a common ground, some kind of give and take. 1. The Fulani Amenities Program After the attainment of political independence, the ―Fulani Amenities Program‖ became a comprehensive pastoral resource development program, providing for the establishment of facilities such as marketing channels, watering points, veterinary posts, and grazing reserves in the pastoral areas of Northern Nigeria. 2. Northern Nigerian Grazing Reserve Law, 1965 The Northern Regional Legislature gave legal protection to the creation of grazing reserves and stock routes in the region by passing this Law. This law empowered the Ministry of Animal and Forest Resources and the Native Authorities to acquire any given native land for the creation of grazing reserves. The Nigerian civil war of 1967  –   1970 affected the timely implementation of the Programme, even though some minimal activities were accomplished. 3. The Third National Development Plan of 1975-80 The Third National Development Plan of 1975-80 proposed the acquisition of 22 million hectares of land area to be constituted into grazing reserves. Not more than 3 million hectares have so far been acquired. 4.   First Livestock Development Project (FLDP) 1976  –   1986  Sixteen grazing reserves were to be created under this programme, which was jointly financed by the Nigerian Government and the World Bank. However, the programme was drastically reduced in scale because State Governments failed to gazette the grazing reserves. They were therefore reduced in number to six and limited to only watering points and small parcels of strip-sown forage for livestock. The project was extended three times due to the slow disbursement of funds. 5. Second Livestock Development Project (SLDP) 1987  –   1995 This was a follow-up to the FLDP and it was also jointly financed by the Nigerian Government and the World Bank. It was to learn from the mistakes of the latter. Pastoralists were to be given land rights in eight grazing reserves. Due to a slow start, however, the project was redesigned in 1989/1990 to make provision for twenty grazing reserves.  3 6.   The Food and Agricultural Organization/Federal Livestock Department (FAO/FLD) Project 1987  –   1993 The FAO/FLD project could only settle 38 pastoralist families in two grazing reserves. Eight of the families were semi-settled. The project provided some limited infrastructure to improve general animal health and production. 7. Range Management Intervention in Arid Zones 1990  –   1995  This was a programme financed through a European Development Fund (EDF) soft loan for integrated Rural Development Program in Sokoto/Zamfara and Borno/Yobe States. Its livestock component focused mainly on range management. The Gidan Jaja grazing reserve in Zamfara State produced fodder on which pastoralists grazed and pad some charges. 8. North-East Arid Zone Development Program (NEAZDP) 1990  –   1995 In the Jakusko-Nassari Grazing Reserve, the NEAZDP mobilized pastoralists into herd owners associations through which a charge of N100 per week for the provision of infrastructure and facility management were introduced, irrespective of herd size. 9. PTF Pastoral Development Program 1996  –   1999 The pastoral programme of the Petroleum (Special) Trust Fund identified and recommended the rehabilitation of 22 grazing reserves. 500 P astoral Herd Owners‘ Association s were formed in the grazing reserves preparatory to the take-off of the rehabilitation program. The PTF could not go beyond its mobilization phase as it was terminated in 1999 following the exit of the government that created it. 10. The Presidential Committee on Livestock 2003 President Olusegun Obasanjo set up a 26-man committee on livestock in October 2002 to do a detailed assessment of the livestock industry and make recommendations on the way forward. The committee was, however, not inaugurated until November 2003. The Committee harmonized the findings of its six (6) sub-committees comprising Feeds and Nutrition; Animal Breeding and Genetic improvement; Poultry Development; Livestock Processing and Marketing; Animal Health and Veterinary Services; and Grazing Reserve and Stock Routes Development and recommended the establishment of a National Land Reform Commission. 11. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) A five-year livestock development plan to be funded under the MDGs has been designed for  pastoral development and empowerment activities including support for the acquisition; development and protection of lands for grazing and livestock access; rehabilitation of rangeland vegetation; development of infrastructure; and conservation of surplus fodder. 12. The Bassey Ekpo Ewa Bill In 2010, a member of the Nigerian House of Representatives, Honourable Bassey Ekpo Ewa,  proposed ― A Bill for an Act to establish the Nigerian Grazing Reserve Authority which shall  provide for the Establishment and Management of Grazing Reserves and Stock Routes in Nigeria and other matters connected therewith ‖ 2 , otherwise called Nigerian Grazing Reserve   Authority (Establishment and Development)   Bill  , 2010. The objectives of the Act were to be:   2    4 (a)   to establish the Nigerian Grazing Reserve Development Authority which shall undertake the National Grazing Development Program to provide   a framework for management of Grazing Reserves and Stock Routes in    Nigeria, infrastructural development and facilities such as livestock markets,   watering points, veterinary services,  breed improvement for their full   integration into national economy;   (b)   to provide for the acquisition of suitable land in line with the provisions of the Land Use Reform Act for the establishment and development of grazing reserve and stock Routes across the Country; (e)   to empower the Authority adequately to liaise with the States, the private sector and other relevant agencies towards the establishment and development of grazing reserve Centers and stock routes across the Country; (d)   to empower the Authority to promote and encourage the National Nomadic Education Program nationwide to educate pastoralists; (e)   to provide for the harmonization of most disjointed projects funded by donor agencies, into the Authority's programme for national development. The Bill was not concluded by the National Assembly. 13. The Zainab Kure Bill The National Assembly is also considering another bill on grazing reserves and stock routes development by Senator Zainab Kure. Titled ―A Bill for an Act to provide for the Establishment, Preservation and Control of National Grazing Reserves and Stock Routes and the Creation of  National Grazing Reserve Commission and for purposes connected therewith ‖, the Bill seeks the establishment of A National Grazing Reserve Establishment and Development Commission with the following duties: (a)   Designating, acquiring, controlling, managing and maintaining the National Grazing Reserves and Stock Routes established under this Act; (b)   Constructing roads, dams, bridges, fences and such other infrastructures the Commission may consider necessary for the purpose of the National Grazing Reserves and Stock Routes; (c)   Identification, retracting, demarcating, monumenting, and surveying of primary and tertiary stock roués; (d)   Ensuring the preservation and protection of any objects of geological, archaeological, historical, aesthetic, or scientific interests in the National Grazing Reserves and Stock Routes; (e)   The development of facilities and amenities within the National Grazing Reserves; (f)   Fostering in the minds of the general public, particularly the pastoral and transhumance  population, the necessity for the establishment and development of National Grazing Reserves and Stock Routes with the object of development a greater appreciation of the value of livestock and environmental conservation; and (g)   Doing all such things incidental to the foregoing functions which, in the opinion of the Commission, are calculated to facilitate the carrying on of the duties of the Commission under this Act. 14.   Grazing Reserves Committee of the National Council of States 2013  The National Council of States at its meeting of July 18, 2013 announced the establishment of a committee on grazing reserves to address the problem of clashes between cattle rearers and


Jul 23, 2017
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