Needless Spatting Over Grazing Reserve By Sen Olusola Adeyeye

It is obvious that some of the incendiary stuff circulated via social media are designed to stoke the embers of discord. Personally, I suspect that some ghost writers are having a field day as agents provocateur. Opinion molders must keep their head in times like this.
First, there is no grazing bill pending in the current National Assembly. What was tabled in the senate was a motion. For all practical purposes, many motions are exercises of pandering to the gallery of local interest. They have no effect of law.
Second, in the 7th Senate, the bill that was sponsored by Senator Zenab Kure on the Grazing reserve was effectively killed by a masterly legislative ploy. Its so-called “passing” of second reason was to save Senator Kure the embarrassment of resounding defeat. Thereafter, the bill never surfaced at a committee hearing talk less of public hearing. Then Senate President, David Mark, and Senator Bwacha who chaired the Agriculture Committee in the 7th Senate were opposed to the bill. Should anyone resurrect such a bill in the 8th Senate, it will suffer an early death. So, let us save our energy for solving the problems facing our republic rather than continually aggravating each other with needless provocations.
The desalination project in Saudi Arabia and the Agricultural exploits of Israel are evocative showcases of how two serious societies triumphed over the limitations, vicissitudes and vagaries inflicted by nature and habitat. By contrast, Nigeria launched Operation Feed the Nation in the 70s but it soon became Operation Fool the Nation! In the 80s, we launched Green Revolution but it gave birth only to massive importation of rice!
We need to go back to the drawing board concerning the modernization of agriculture particularly the expansion of our river basins. There are enough inland water resources in Nigeria to ensure enough grass for our cattle. We can introduce new strains of grass while also planting lucerne (alfalfa). Diligent efforts in this regard will yield massive dividends within two years.
In any case, if there were to be grazing reserves, they will not be in the forest belt of Nigeria. Rather, they rationally belong in the Savannah grassland. Modern agronomic inputs can easily ensure enough grass in this belt. That is the challenge to which we must rise.

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