The Nigerian Army has said that it would continue to invest in the nation’s livestock sector to support the officers and men of the Nigerian Army and their families.
Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai stated this yesterday at the inauguration of Army Cattle Ranch and presentation of farm equipment to Nigerian Army in Giri, Abuja.
General Buratai said the Barracks Investment Initiative Programme (BIIP) was born out of the military commitment to improving the economic well being of the officers of Nigerian Army and their families.
Buratai said the army through the initiative, has over 1,000 cows in ranches within different army formations and barracks across the country.
He reiterated that the Nigerian Army was not only concerned with national security, but also food security of the country noting that economic development can only thrive in an atmosphere of peace.
Speaking on the current crisis between herders and farmers, the Chief of Army Staff stressed that the current spate of killings was unnecessary adding that the army was working to ensure that the entire country is secure for everyone.
“We are ready to support the Federal Government’s effort to stabilize the farmers-herders clashes across the country. We are tasking our Special Forces Brigade to ensure that everywhere they are deployed at short notice to ensure that they stem this menace of farmers-herders conflict.
“Right now we deployed them to Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba. Once there is stability and peace, this development in agriculture will thrive,” Buratai said.
In his address, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh emphasized that cattle ranch is the only way out of the clashes between herdsmen and farmers across the country.
The minister pointed out that Buratai and his men are showing the world that soldiers don’t only wage war but also to promote permanent peace.
“Is it surprising that the Nigerian Army is the one showing us this? How many people out there would believe that just yesterday(Monday) I told journalists that this is the way forward and here we are hearing that apart from this place, the army has another 1,000 cattle spread in army formations here and there,” the minister said.
The minister promised to offer technical services to ranch while providing basic facilities such water, pasture beds and veterinary services.
Some of the items handed over to the army cattle ranch include many tonnes of feed concentrate, feed making machines among others.