Raymond Ozoji, Awka
From all indications, the 7th legislature of Anambra State has laid to rest incessant farmer-herder clashes across the state following the passage of the Anti-Open Grazing Bill into law.
The Chairman House of Assembly Committee on Agriculture and member representing Awka-North state constituency Hon. John Nwokoye said a public hearing on the Anti-Open Grazing Bill was conducted where inputs were collected from members of the public as to the purpose the bill will serve when it becomes a law.
Nwokoye said the bill has been passed into law and awaiting the governor’s assent for it to become fully operational in the state. He said all stakeholders in the agricultural sector were captured in the bill and it is hoped that henceforth the bill will fine-tune agricultural practices in the state.
The lawmaker, who spoke about the benefits of the bill, explained that the committee on agriculture organised the public hearing because of its sensitivity, noting that the Anti-Open Grazing Law will bring peace and cordial relations between indigenes of host communities and their visitors and between indigenes of same communities.
He said the bill made provisions for the establishment of ranches and equally stipulated penalties for trespassers. According to him, the bill empowered livestock management committee to oversee ranching processes and other livestock management.
Nwokoye also disclosed that prior to the enactment of the bill, there were complaints about destruction of crops and other agricultural produce by cattle rearers but he expressed the belief that the Anti-Open Grazing Law will address all the concerns.