Photograph — AgInnovators

The business of cattle rearing in Nigeria could be bigger than it is right now. Beyond the infamous Fulani herdsmen-farmers conflict, we can also blame livestock rustling, grazing land dispute, and inadequate identification for the stagnation. But there is a solution in sight.

At the sensitisation meeting of stakeholders in Kaduna on Monday, the Cattle Breeders Joint Association of Nigeria called for the installation of tracking chips in livestock. The chips will help owners identify their cattle, prevent their loss to armed thieves, and generally track the activities of grazing animals. The objective of the meeting in Kaduna was to suggest new measures to manage livestock in Nigeria.

To facilitate this, Kachia Hussaini, the National Chief Coordinator of the CBJAN, urged the federal government to quicken the processes of creating specific grazing reserves and include livestock identification in their plans. The move will encourage the peaceful resolution of the ongoing crisis between Fulani herdsmen and farmers.

Previously, the federal government faced criticism for not addressing the factors responsible for the destructive conflict between Fulani herdsmen and farmers.

However, Hussaini says the CBJAN is ready to provide support to the government and interested members of the private sector to ensure that a collaboration is also possible in Nigeria. Having technology is one thing, being able to utilize it is another. Hopefully, the CBJAN is well-equipped to cross this hurdle as soon as the chips are available.

There are private organizations already using the tracking chips in an attempt to curb the violent conflict. For instance, in June, MTN launched the Livestock Tracking Device (LTD) at the 2016 Katsina State Economic and Investment Summit.

The new SMART Farm at the University of New England, Australia is another example of the use of technology to solve agricultural problems. Also, recently in Kenya, Canada, India, and Brazil tracking chips for livestock have become quite popular with agriculturists while improving the emerging market for “wearable technology” for livestock.

Putting an end to cattle rustling and the Fulani herdsmen crisis is enough motive for technological innovation, especially in this new era of technology, more people and countries are looking for ‘smart’ ways to optimize agriculture and livestock. Tracking devices for livestock can also help to achieve all-around socio-economic growth. We will see livestock – and people – lead healthier and longer lives.

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