By John Shiaondo, Makurdi
Ranching Law Earns Gov Ortom Award
Chief Press Secretary to the Benue State Governor, Mr. Terver Akase, has said that the choice of BUSINESSDAY newspaper to confer on Dr. Samuel Ortom Best Governor Award in recognition of the Law to Prohibit Open Grazing of Livestock and Provide for the Establishment of Ranching in the state, is a heartwarming feat achieved by the recipient.
Mr. Akase, who disclosed this in a chat with journalist at Benue People’s House Makurdi, said the award will be handed over to the governor on July 13, 2017 for the governor’s efforts in developing agriculture in the state.
He noted that the decision of the organisation to nominate the governor for the award has been anchored on the consideration that the law will prevent the perennial clashes between herdsmen and farmers which has over the years forced crop farmers in the state to stay away from their farming activities.
“Ortom has been nominated as the best governor in Agriculture Development and the yardstick used by the newspaper to select the governor is the signing of the antiopen grazing and ranching establishment law.
“The organisation feels that the law will create the environment for small holder farmers to have the freedom to do their farming business and prevent incessant clashes between herdsmen and the farmers therefore boosting farm production,” he said.
He noted apart from the anti-open grazing law, the governor has also introduced policies to encourage people of the state including civil servants to go back to Agriculture.
According to him, the governor for the past two years procured farm implements including fertilizer and has paid 38 percent subsidy to enable farmers in the state to easily access them.
“Tractors are being procured by the state government as we speak and the fertilizer blending plant in Makurdi has started working, which indicates that very soon Benue will start selling fertilizer to other states of the country.
“Government is creating ways for farmers including civil servants to access credit facilities to improve on their farming and also encouraging them to join it believing that it will put food on their table as well as enhance their economy.
“All these are lined up to ensure that food security policy of the state government is sustained and taken to another level, because it is not enough to produce food for us to eat within the state, but much more better to produce for Nigeria and export to other countries,” he explained.
He said, sustained efforts by the governor to improve agriculture has already started yielding results noting that Benue yams are already being exported to other countries of the world.
“Benue yams are already being exported to western countries including Europe and America as we speak. “That is to tell you that Benue is reclaiming its position as the food basket of Nigeria, and this is happening during the time of Samuel Ortom as governor.
“So it is a win win situation for Benue state and a plus for the state, and credit for the people who have supported agriculture revolution in the state,” Akase noted.
It would be recalled that that few weeks after governor Ortom had signed the Anti Open
Grazing Law, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore called a World Press Conference and described the law as wicked, obnoxious and repressive, targeted to criminalize the means of survival of the Fulani people.