BY: VITALIS UGOH Calabar
Cross River state governor, Senator Ben Ayade says the state has commenced massive production of a rare regenerative organic grass called “king grass”, to end the intractable farmers/ herders clashes across the country.
According to him, “the grass is a special pasture “that grows more than two meters within 45 days of planting and once it is cut, it regenerates even faster. So, within a small landmass you can keep your cattle and grow this special grass and feed them”.
Ayade who spoke during a demonstration planting of the grass at the industrial park, Calabar, disclosed that Cross River was pioneering the production of the grass in collaboration with technical partners from Cambodia in furtherance of his administration’s multi-faceted Agro- Industrialisation drive.
“Herders have a right to the source of their livelihood, so they move from place to place in search of pasture for their cattle, thus pitting them against farmers who also have the right to protect their crops.
“To put an end to this intractable conflict between these two groups, I have sought partnership with a team of experts from Cambodia and they are here with a special grass specie called king grass.”
The governor bemoaned a situation whereby herders stress their cattle by walking them through long distance whereas they can keep them in a location and feed them with king grass “which grows lusciously and luxuriously and contains high level of nutrients for the cow. This nutrients make cow healthy for consumption.”
The unique nature of the king grass, he said, lies in the fact that it has the capacity to grow under any climatic condition, having been successfully demonstrated in the three Senatorial zones of the state which have different climatic conditions.
With the Obudu cattle ranch in Northern Cross River as a pilot study, the state governor disclosed the government was working to create a feeding lot where king grass will be grown and fed to the cattle in the ranch.
“My ambition is national security and oneness of this country. I am therefore, announcing to Nigeria that Cross River has got a permanent solution to the herders- farmers conflict”, Ayade declared.