The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association warned that a cow could cost up to N2 million in Lagos State if the anti-grazing bill is passed into law in the state.
Zonal Secretary of Myetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association in the South West, during a one-day public hearing organised by the state House of Assembly on the anti-open grazing bill on Wednesday.
The Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday sent the bill on open grazing to the committee on agriculture after it scaled second reading.
It was entitled, “A bill for a law to Prohibit Open Cattle Grazing In Lagos State, the Trespass of Cattle Land And For Other Connected Purposes”.
During the public hearing, Usman appealed to the state government for assistance, noting that ranching is more expensive than open grazing.
Usman, who agreed that there were some criminally-minded herders, argued that raising a cow in one location could increase the price of a cow to as much as N2 million.
He also pleaded with the government to subsidise the cost of raising the cattle in one location.
“If cattle are bred in one place, the price could go up to about N2 million each. We agreed with some local chiefs in other states that anyone who wants to rear cows in a location should register and should indicate when he is leaving.
“A Fulani man moves from one place to another to ply his trade, but we have some bad eggs that are causing trouble. The government should allow us to talk to our people that they don’t want our cows to destroy people’s farmland.
“We have met with stakeholders in Ekiti, Ondo and even Oyo states and we reached agreements with them,” Usman was quoted as saying this in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker of the House, Mr Eromosele Ebhomele.
Also, the Chairman of Lagos State Butchers Association of Lagos State, Alhaji Alabi Bamidele Kazeem, advocated for support to cattle breeders, arguing that “rearing animals in one location could be expensive”.
On his part, the President of the Lagos State Sheep Farmers Association, Alhaji Mustapha Ibrahim, described the bill as “all-embracing and would ensure a symbiotic relationship between cattle rearers and farmers”.
He also advocated for legislation to promote the creation of farm estates across the state.