Enugu farmers Decries Impacts of Farmer-Herder Clashes

Enugu farmers Decries Impacts of Farmer-Herder Clashes

The Enugu State branch of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has decried the negative impacts of the continued farmer-herder clashes on their activities.

The State Chairman of the Association, Mr Romanus Eze, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said farmers in the state are displeased with the continued destruction of their crops, owing to the prolonged crisis.

AgroNigeria reported a similar call by the Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON) in Gombe State.

According to Eze, the farmers are yet to feel the impact of the Anti-Open Grazing Law passed by the Governor of the state, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi in September.

It would be recalled that Ugwuanyi had signed the Prohibition of Open Grazing and Cattle Ranching Law of Enugu State following the resolution by governors of the 17 southern states to ban open grazing in their states, in May.

However, the chairman said in addition to crop destruction, farmers in the state have been forced to abandon their farmlands due to security concerns.

“Herders are destroying most of the farms in Enugu State, especially those in large clusters inside the bush.

This is a serious challenge.

“Farmers are even afraid to go to their farms because they may be attacked, kidnapped or even raped.

These are the issues we have.

“For example, in Anuka community in Nsukka Local Government Area, most of our farms there have been vandalised with impunity by herders.

They even uproot the stems and give them to their cows,” he said.

Furthermore, Eze noted that despite the previous steps taken to stop the act, no progress has been recorded yet.

He explained that the association has written several complaints to the forest guards, the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Enugu State Commissioner of Police.

He, therefore, implored the state government to provide adequate security for farmers, while also suggesting that a memorandum of understanding on security matters be signed between both parties involved.

“The way out is for government to provide security and extension officers who will man these farms.

Encourage forest guards to man these large clusters of farmlands to prevent herders from entering there.

“Government should call the head of the herders to sign a new Memorandum of Understanding on security,” he added.

Enugu farmers Decries Impacts of Farmer-Herder Clashes

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