The Delta State chapter of the Cattle Dealers Association has rejected the 5,000 sqm of grazing land provided in a new bill by the state lawmakers.
During a public hearing on ‘A Bill for a Law to provide for the Regulation of Livestock Breeding, Rearing and Marketing and to Prohibit Open Grazing and related matters in Delta State’ on Monday, July 26 in Asaba, the herdsmen requested for at least 30,000 square meters of land in each local government area for livestock breeding and marketing across the state.
The hearing was organized by the state House of Assembly Joint Committee on Special Bills and Agriculture and Natural Resources.
A memorandum signed by its Chairman, Alhaji Musa Shuwa, said the 5,000 square metres designated as grazing areas contained in the draft bill was grossly inadequate, because of the facilities expected to be in the area.
He stated, “This (5,000 square metres) is only for the markets. Also, each market takes delivery of not less than 800 cattle every week. Our members hardly sell all their cattle at the market, hence the need to feed the cattle by grazing.
“With the intention of the draft of this bill being to ban open grazing, it is our respectful view that to have cattle within enclosed grazing (for the purpose of ranching) area would mean that a large space of area is needed for this purpose.
“While we acknowledge that the 5,000 square metres mentioned in Section 8(2a) is only the minimum, it is our modest view that even in the minimum, 5,000 square metres of land may not be the best starting point.”