The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) in partnership with Megacorp Nigeria Ltd is considering the use of technology to tackle cattle rustling and farmer/herder clashes in the country.
The Executive Director, Megacorp Nigeria Ltd., Dr Kabir Abdulkadir, said this at the State Level Advocacy on the importance of the National Animals Identification and Traceability System to Pastoralists on Friday, in Abuja.
Abdulkadir said that the company in partnership with the FMARD was considering the use of modern equipment that would make it difficult and near impossible to rustle cows in the country.
He also said that such innovation would stem the tide of farmer/herder clashes in the country, saying the programme was organised in partnership with Federal Capital Territory Administration Agriculture Rural Development Secretariat
He said that with research, the company had been able to come up with a technological-related solution that could identify, register and trace cows with a robust database.
He said that this would help the Federal Government to be able to ascertain the number of animals in the country, thereby helping to plan for the animals appropriately.
He also said that the animals would be linked to the owners, such as people link their cars with the number plates and if anything happened such can be reported.
He stated that with the innovation, it would be impossible for anybody to rustle cows because such cows could be traced.
Abdulkadir said that their biodata would be obtained, stressing the country would be proud of knowing the owners of those cows and their population.
“The project is about identifying the animals to their owners so that, we can curb the incessant rustling, the incessant crisis between farmers and herders that has been ravaging the country.
He said that the registration of animals to the owners would help to restore peace and also generate income for the country.
Mr Abdulraheem Yahaya, Head of Animal Breeding and Conservation in charge of Animal Identification and Traceability System, FCDA, said that the project was about identifying the animals to the owners.
This, according to him, will help to curb the incessant cattle rustling and the crisis between farmers and herders that had ravaged the country.
He said that the system would afford the animals to have a passport in the barcode of the ear tag, such that when it is scanned, the owner can be easily known.
According to him, 50 per cent of the software is already developed; it is waiting for us to roll it out, but before rolling it out, the state has to be sensitized.
Mr Hakeem Ibilade, Assistant Director FMARD representing Director Animal Husbandry Services, said that cattle can be identified and monitored and it would help reduce issues of herders, farmers’ clashes.
“This system will help us know our cattle we have to know where the animals and also help us know the owners of these cattle.
“Once we have the data, it means we have the information and to fill the gaps and this information will help in resolving livestock challenges,” he said.
Malam Yahaya Isah, Chairman Miyetti Allah, Cattle Breeder Association of Nigeria, FCT chapter, said the only predicament bedeviling the association was that it had never an opportunity to share its ideas with the government.
He commended the initiative, adding that it was a good intention if accepted and handled well, stressing that all that was required for it to be successful must be provided.
“I believe it’s going to be a good development as far animal production is concerned,” he said.