Katsina Govt Partners NGOs to Reconcile Farmers and Herders

The Katsina State Government, in collaboration with an NGO Mercy Corps, has organised a 2-day state-level Conflict Prevention and Mitigation Dialogue for farmers and herders.

The dialogue was to promote locally-driven peace initiatives through interest-based negotiation began in Katsina on Monday.

The dialogue was organised through the Conflict Mitigation and Community Reconciliation in North-West Nigeria (CMCR-NW) project.

Speaking at the event, the state’s Commissioner for Agriculture and Livestock Development, Prof. Ahmed Bakori, said the dialogue came at the right time.

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According to him, the objective of the dialogue is to facilitate inclusive and responsive multi-stakeholder analysis of identified conflict spots or potential conflict spots that could affect farmers and herders during the rainy/farming season.

Bakori said, “It is also to identify the likely impact of tensions and/or violence on farming and grazing activities, design conflict prevention and/or peace strategy including an action plan to prevent and mitigate conflict during the 2024 rainy/farming season.

“Expected output and outcome of the dialogue is conflict prevention strategy, including action plans to address the impact of conflict on farming and grazing developed.

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“The conflict dialogue will also specifically focus on rainy/farming season scenario planning, conflict assessment, and mitigation strategies.

“Different stakeholders will brainstorm to identify, analyse, and design concrete steps towards preventing and mitigating tensions and violence during the up-coming 2024 farming season.”

According to the commissioner, the gesture is a necessary sequel to the prevalence of such conflicts during the rainy season.

Bakori added, “This situation poses a challenge to safe farming and grazing activities, and affects agricultural activities leading to minimal harvests and overall output.

“It then becomes imperative for stakeholders to brainstorm and design appropriate strategies to prevent and where possible mitigate tensions during the forthcoming farming season.

‘With this development, farming activities across the front line areas will hold for this rainy season.”

According to him, the state government has plans to procure at least 400,000 bags of fertilizer for the 2024 farming season in the state.

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Mr Philip Ikita, Mercy Corps’ Senior Programme Manager, said the CMCR project was an 18-month comprehensive pilot programme to reduce community violence in Batsari, Dan Musa, Jibia and Kankara Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.

He said that the project seeks to strengthen peace-building processes to support the implementation of political and community responses to violence.

It is also to strengthen the governance system to promote social cohesion and address the needs and grievances of the community.

Also responding, Sarkin Fulanin Katsina, Alhaji Lawal Bagiwa who represented the Emir of Katsina, Alhaji Abdulmuminu Kabir-Usman , commended the organisers for the invaluable gesture.

The emir said it was a giant stride aimed at complementing the emirate council’s and government’s efforts towards conflict resolution in the state.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that the dialogue was also organised in collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), funded by the European Union.

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