The federal government says it will establish cattle colonies in states across the country to curb increasing cases of clashes between farmers and herdsmen.

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Audu Ogbeh, minister of agriculture and rural development, said this at a strategy retreat for civil servants and political appointees of the ministry in Abuja on Monday.

Ogbeh, while stating the target of his ministry for 2018, said the ministry would also engage in massive cattle breed improvement through artificial insemination.

Ogbeh added that any culture that poses a threat to the lives and property of Nigerians should be re-examined.

“We want to handle the issue of cattle rearing and crisis between farmers and herdsmen and actually bring it to a halt,” Ogbeh said.

“I know that some people argued that open grazing is our culture, once a culture begins to develop very dangerous trends, leading to warfare between people, bloody clashes and death, that culture is due for re-examination.

“A culture must not be left because it is a culture, if it is harmful, we reform it. We are talking of cattle colonies, not ranches. We are talking of massive cattle breed improvement through artificial insemination, we have to start immediately.

“Sixteen states have given us land to work on, the programme is not going to be cheap but Mr President has personally informed me that if we seek help from him, he will give it to us over and above the budget we have.

“In our interactions with the herdsmen, they always say that if we have water and grass, we will not move anywhere, grass is not grass.”