By Rita Iliya
Mariga (Niger), Jan. 6, 2020 Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger on Wednesday expressed satisfaction with the progress of work at the Bobi Grazing Reserve located within Mariga and Mashegu Local Government Areas of the state.
The governor said this while speaking with newsmen shortly after inspecting activities at the reserve.
He said the state government was expanding the multipurpose dam to supply water for the cattle and pasture as well as intensive irrigation and fishery activities.
“We are also constructing a modern spillage and enhance embankment to protect the dam and give it more strength.
“As we have realised that water is so central to the successful development of the grazing reserve,” he said.
Bello disclosed that the reserve had cultivated about 300 hectares of pasture which was sufficient to feed 9, 000 cattle.
He added that when completed, excess pasture would be available for sale to any part of the country.
He also said that the crossbreeding programme had commenced successfully to produce better breeds for milk and beef, stressing that the artificial insemination would also begin in the next few weeks.
“As you can see, we are making progress, as part of attraction to the programme.
“We are trying to encourage and enhance the capacity of women in terms of improving their economic strength by improving the capacity of their cows from producing 1-2 litres to 10-15 litres of milk per day”.
He noted that the state government was considering Ruga Settlement Programme for security of the reserve rather than the economic benefits.
The governor added that the incessant farmers/herders conflicts were partly responsible for the increasing rise in bandit activities.
“We try to encourage ranching to allow our herders to stay in one place where they can have access to schools, water and veterinary health services.
So that they don’t have any reason to move their cattle hundreds of kilometers down south,” he added.
He said that the grazing reserve would increase the state government’s Internally Generated Revenue overtime and empower the people and create jobs, particularly for women and youths.
Also, Alhaji Abbas Tafida, Consultant handling the development of the reserve, disclosed that the project, when completed was expected to empower about 9,000 people.
He said that their income and that of the state would increase by N9 billion per annum.
He called on all Fulani herders to take advantage of the opportunity provided by state government through the establishment of the grazing reserve.
Tafida added that the project when completed would provide opportunity to better their livelihoods.
He advised the state government to ensure proper fencing of the whole grazing reserve and install CCTV cameras as part of security measures to protect individual, government and private investments in the area.