The Nigerian Army Farms and Ranch, a major component of the Army’s agricultural programme has been inaugurated in Giri, Abuja.
Feed making equipment and feeds were also donated to the Nigerian Army for the initiative by the Federal Government.
At the event in Abuja, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh noted that only the adoption of cattle ranch could stem the incessant herdsmen-farmers clashes in the country.
He listed areas where his ministry could support the ranch to include technical services, provision of basic facilities such water, pasture beds and veterinary services.
The minister commended the Army for the initiative and called on other institutions to emulate the Nigerian Army in embracing agriculture to boost the nation’s food security.
On his part, Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai noted that apart from livestock production, the Army had invested in the production of other agricultural commodities.
“As at today, we have almost 1000 herds of cattle within the Nigerian Army Barracks and Formations. Other areas of Agriculture we have invested in, in all our barracks include fisheries, poultry, production of eggs, meat, greenhouses and plantation,” he said.
He stated that the Nigerian Army would continue to invest in the nation’s livestock sector to support the officers and men of the Nigerian Army and their families.
The Army Chief said the Barracks Investment Initiative Programme (BIIP) was designed to improve the economic well-being of the officers of Nigerian Army and their families as well as providing jobs for youths in the barracks.
He noted that apart from national security, the Nigerian Army also has interest in food security of the country, adding that economic development could not be achieved without peace.
On the farmers-herdsmen crisis, Buratai assured that the Army would support Federal Government’s efforts towards tackling the menace.
“We are ready to support the Federal Government’s effort to stabilise the farmers-herders clashes across the country. We are tasking our Special Forces Brigade to ensure that everywhere they are deployed at short notice to ensure that they stem this menace of farmers-herders conflict. Right now we deployed them to Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba. Once there is stability and peace, this development in agriculture will thrive,” the Chief of Army Staff said.
The donated equipment include feed making machines, reaper and crushing machine. Other donated items include over 25 tonnes of compounded ruminant feed and pasture seeds among others.