The Ondo State Government has said no herder can graze their cattle on forest reserves in the state without due registration.
The state Commissioner for Agricultural and Rural Development, Adegboyega Adefarati, stated this in a release on Wednesday, despite knocks from the Presidency for the state government over what it termed as an “atavistic” policy.
Adefarati, in the statement titled, “Ondo State Government Forest Reserves Policies And Regulation” reiterated that it was illegal for herdsmen to encroach on the state-owned forest reserves.
He said, “We have registered over fifty (50,000) thousands of farmers who engage in different forms of agricultural activities in Ondo State Government Forest Reserves. With this, we regulate their activities and reduce criminality as we interface daily with farmers.
“Love it or leave it; farming is farming, be it crop production or animal husbandry. If any Nigerian irrespective of his/her state of origin desires land for farming in Government Forest Reserves, he/she must apply to Ondo State Ministry of Agriculture and pay the normal fee for the required hectares of land. It is illegal for herdsmen to encroach Ondo State Government Forest Reserves without permission and graze on the farms, many of which will be destroyed.
“Let me say it again and again that no activity (hunting, planting crops and animal rearing) can be done in Ondo State Forest Conservation without permission. The laws guiding Ondo State Forest are clear and concise on it.”