The incessant clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, especially in Benue, Taraba, Plateau and Kaduna states have generated reactions from within and outside the country.
Farmer-herder violence has been a recurring decimal in the country, where thousands of people have been killed and tens of thousands more displaced.
Eighty people were reportedly killed between 2010 and 2013, and One thousand two hundred and twenty-nine in 2014.
In particular Benue, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Plateau and Taraba States recorded 847 deaths, while Zamfara recorded 229 deaths.
According to the global terrorism index, some herdsmen attack villagers, assault and intimidate farmers.
In addition, there were reported cases of herdsmen attack on Eggon, Jukun and Tiv farming communities. This resulted in 712 deaths.
This incessant killing prompted President Buhari-led administration to propose the establishment of cattle colonies or ranches as being successfully done in India, Ethiopia and even Brazil.
According to Federal Government, when establishment of ranches is finally adopted in the country, it will stop cattle from roaming the streets, farms and other areas as cattle will be confined to a place with adequate provision of feed, water, security and other necessary logistics.
Also, ranching would enhance adequate pasture milk collection, security against rustlers, job creation, food security, and eventually end the vexatious farmers/ herdsmen conflicts.
Despite its inherent advantages, this proposal generated a lot of reactions from Nigerians. While some commended it, many others described it as encroachment and violation of their fundamental human rights.
For Nigerians to accept the proposal, Federal Government should enforce its statement on disarming herdsmen as recently stated by the Agriculture Minister, Chief Audu Ogbe.
More sensitization programmes on the meaning, benefits and potential of ranching should be carried out at all levels of government, especially to the members of the Miyetti Allah, Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria on the need to embrace the concept.
Federal Government must immediately enter into dialogue with the patrons and leaders of the Miyetti Allah to work out the logistics for establishing ranches in the states with large-scale livestock.
Government needs to be proactive in the provision of amenities that will endear herdsmen into the ranches.
The education of the nomadic herdsmen is imperative as it is the first and most important step in integration process.
The existing nomadic Educational system must be reviewed to include Agricultural technical skills, which would be useful in the ranches.
Federal Government should take the lead in establishing the proposed dairy plants in all states of the Federation.
Above all, the investors needed to be encouraged to partner the Government and key into the cattle ranching programme for national growth.