By Chijioke Okoronkwo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the endorsement of the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) by pastoral families and crop farmers in Gongoshi community, Adamawa State, is exciting and encouraging.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, said the Vice President expressed delight that the community had accepted NLTP as a way of promoting peaceful co-existence as well as enhancing their livelihoods.
The vice president formally inaugurated the implementation of NLTP at the Gongoshi Grazing Reserve in Mayo Belwa Local Government Area of Adamawa on Tuesday.
The Gongoshi Grazing Reserve would host 772 pastoral families and 190 crop farmers under the NLTP arrangement.
“I see that everyone is happy that we are able to launch the scheme here today and I have seen from the various placards being carried around that they intend that this will be a peaceful implementation of a very laudable scheme.
“The plan will provide a basis for peaceful coexistence, jobs for many, and a mechanism for resolving disputes.
“The plan is one that hopes to birth tailor made ranches where cattle are bred, and meat and dairy products are produced using modern livestock breeding and dairy methods.
“This solves the problem of cattle grazing into and destroying farmlands. It ensures a practical response to the pressures on water and pasture by forces of climate change.
“And it provides a modern meat and dairy industry and in some cases integrated crop farming. The unique feature is that any participating state will determine its own model.”
Osinbajo commended the efforts of members of N-Power team, the N-Agro, for their efforts in the enumeration of the 772 pastoral families and 190 crop farmers within the reserve.
The vice president also clarified that the NLTP was not synonymous to RUGA as speculated in some quarters, noting that RUGA remained suspended.
“The unique feature is that any participating state will determine its own model. I wish to emphasize that this is not RUGA.
“The idea of RUGA settlements launched by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture created a problem when it was perceived that this was a plan to seize lands to create settlements for herders.
“RUGA was not the plan designed and approved by the governors and the President rightly suspended the implementation,” he said.
Earlier, Gov. Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa thanked the Vice President and the Federal Government for the support given to the State to implement the NLTP.
Afterwards, crop farmers and pastoralists came together to jointly present gifts like caps, clothing and other local products to the vice president as appreciation for the programme.
Also in Yola, Osinbajo made a stop at Demsawo ward in Jimeta in Yola North LGA for a family visit to Mohammed Adamu, who is using a prosthetic limb made by the North East Innovation Hub of the Federal Government.
Adamu was awaiting admission into the state’s Polytechnic when he was attacked by the gang ”Shilo boys” last year and had his arm cut off.
He thereafter became a beneficiary of the Innovation Hubs programme under N-Power.
After receiving a new prosthetic limb from the hub, Adamu now works as a tailoring assistant and is able use his arm.