Herders: We have taken bold measures to protect our farmers – Enugu Govt.

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The Enugu State Government says it has taken proactive and tested measures to ensure the security and safety of farmers to boost food sufficiency in the state.

The Commissioner for Agriculture and Agro Industrialisation, Mr Patrick Ubru, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Enugu.

The commissioner said that the government collaborated with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to establish an Agro-Rangers Squad.

Ubru said that the Agro-Rangers Squad, meant to complement other security outfits on ground, would be all out to protect farmers and farmlands in the state.

“This squad with a specialised training on agricultural protection and other technological gadgets will checkmate all forms of insecurity complained about by our farmers, both commercial and small holder farmers in the state.

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“The squad are stationed in major farms in the state as well as special agro-processing centres and facilities,” he said.

The commissioner said that the ministry was also discussing with the Miyetti Allah group so that they would also join in ensuring security for all.

He said: “We are meeting with them to ensure that they help in putting their members in check.

“They would help us to identify those herders, who are not their members that penetrate and instigate acts that cause misunderstanding among herders and farmers.”

On the incessant farmers/herders clashes in Isi-Uzo council area, the commissioner said that the state government in partnership with the Federal Government had established a military base in Isi-Uzo.

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“Very soon, farmers/herders clashes and some persons moving with unauthorized weapons will be a thing of the past within the council area and its adjoining local governments,” he said.

Ubru noted that the state government had invested so much in agriculture as a business and did a lot of agro-industrial partnerships with donor agencies.

He said that the state government was poised to ensure that its agricultural transformation and revolution made the desired anticipated impact.

According to him, the Gov. Peter Mbah-led administration has invested heavily on security; just as both covert and overt security measures have been taken.

“This is to ensure that the state meets its set targets in agriculture holistically; which also covers rural development/industrialization, food sufficiency, food security and its attendant employment opportunities.

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“Upscaling agriculture through massive investment and massive mechanization is the cardinal push in the state government’s envisioned plan of moving the state from an economy of present $4.4 billion to $30 billion within the next eight years,” he said.

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