Have you ever wonder the agony a farmer goes through when he got to the farm to harvest his farm produce worth thousands and possibly millions of Naira and he found out that the herdsmen have invaded his farm with their cattle. Look through the inner lens and picture the saddest tears that roll from his face upon such occurrences. If the picture is not clearer enough, then you need to read the story of “The Tragic End of Farmer Adam and the Death of Dreams” , read the sad story of a female farmer and findings from MercyCorps study that “the incessant attacks by Fulani herdsmen on farmers have a drastic effect on food security and have caused a loss of $14 billion in three years”.
Farmers-herdsmen clashes irrespective of the magnitude has significantly contributed to low yield experienced by farmers, displacement of farmers and their properties, loss of lives and inhibiting trade practices. The Global Terrorism Index released in 2015 identified that the Fulani militants are the fourth deadliest militant group in the world with a record killing of 1229 people in 2014 and, here is some of the timeline of Fulani herdsmen clashes in Nigeria reported by InfoGuide Nigeria.
In the quest for knowledge and documenting best practices and affordable solutions on possible ways to mitigate this constant conflict between the parties – farmers, herdsmen and cattle, I had an interview with a local researcher/farmer in a remote farm in Ibadan. The said farmer has developed what he termed as local solutions to tackling cattle invasion on the farm.
Tell us about yourself and how you got into agriculture
My name is Jelili and I operate a farm called Je’fast Farm with the appellation of “Agbedowo” which literally mean “farming turn into money”. In 2001, I relocated to Ibadan where I have worked as a mechanic and also a smuggler but having let go of the past, I started the business of agriculture with livestock farming in 2005 at Iddo in Ibadan, Nigeria. Currently, I rear animals (cattle, goat, and sheep), market agricultural produce, crop production, engage in farm management, consultation and innovation development.
How do you market your innovations and agricultural activities?
I operate along the value chain and am skilled in managing varieties of plants on the farm irrespective of the type of plant – hybrid or local plant. After many success stories from people I have managed their farms, I was advised to start a radio program on agriculture and food-related issues. Seeing relevance of this to my agricultural endeavours, I started an agricultural radio program at two local station in Ibadan where the focus is mainly on agricultural innovations, farm management and attracting people who need a marketer for their agricultural produce.
Tell us about your cattle repellant innovation, how do you come about it and what motivates you
I came about this cattle repellant innovation at a stage where I was deeply in thoughts on possible things to do in order to pay some bills. While in deep thought, I saw a cattle and I observed several things which inspired me to develop an innovation that tackles the issue of cattle invading farms. Severally, I tried my hands on different methods before I finally made a headway on the final product which comprises of a small portion of cow skin, a small dirties removed from the cow which is missed with about 16 leaves to form two product type – liquid and solid.
What is the uniqueness of this local innovation and how does it help in tackling cattle-farm invasion?
The uniqueness of the innovation is that it is model to tackle the concrete issue in agriculture and the innovation has proven not to have any aorta of incantations as people thought. The product smiles badly and it is the odour that drives away the cattle from invading farms. The innovation has been tested and there are success stories and testimonies from end users who are mostly farmers.
The liquid type which lasts for 6days is sprayed around the farm and once the cattle perceive the odour, it easily drives them away. In the same vein, the solid type which lasts for 3 months is packaged inside a nylon-like an air fresher and hanged in strategic pathways where cattle are passing into the farm. This same innovation has been replicated for goat and as organic chemicals. The product is compiled in a way that its effect is not affected by rain.
What is the adoption rate of the cattle repellant?
Farmers within Ibadan and environs, particularly Osun, Oyo, Iseyin and Saki are the major adopters of the innovation. Based on usage and demonstration by the end users, the innovation has received high-value recommendations from prominent persons and farmers across the mentioned states. The liquid product is sold at the rate of #1000 for one litre and the other type is sold at the rate of #300. The demand for the product is constantly on the increase due to issues of herdsmen attacking farmers and their farms.
Any challenges so far?
I managed farms and plant different crops or seeds irrespective of the breed. In all of these, I struggled to sleep for one hour per day as I am constantly working on diverse innovations and despite my efforts, I struggle in terms of financial aids to scale up my innovations to solve concrete agricultural issues.
Few days after the interview, I engaged a female friend who is a vast agripreneur and advocate for women in agriculture. She own farms around Ibadan and Iwo-Osun axis and during the conversation, she lamented on the recent cattle invasion on her farm where she lost about 5hectares of cucumber farm, just a few days to harvest. Another male farmer lamented that he had lost over 15millions due to herdsmen invading his farm.
Linking several scenarios together and the recent terrific attack in Benue by the said herdsmen, it’s indeed a pathetic situation for farmers but a win situation for the herdsmen and their cattle. At this time when the farmers – herdsmen crisis are high, the said local innovation has resulted as farmers’ mini-saviour even though, it has a lesser percentage of sustainability. In this limelight, there is need for government, private sectors, local rulers and authority, banks, insurance companies, active players in agriculture and decision makers to jointly develop interventions, programmes and policy that eliminate fears from farmers and bring back the golden era where farmers, cattle and herdsmen live in mutual understanding, unity and peace for flourishing agribusiness operations.
For further enquiries about the cattle repellant, please call directly Mr Jelili of Je’Fast Farm on +2347031969013.
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