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RUGA SETTLEMENTS: Ranking of Biggest States Shows Southern Nigeria Lands not Needed for Cattle Colonies

  • Nigeria not Amongst Top Cattle Producing Nations in the World

On Thursday, President Muhammadu Buhari insisted that according to some practices during the First Republic, herders have the constitutional right to continue practicing nomadic farming, which entails crisscrossing the length and breadth of Nigeria.

The Federal Government under the President, has since its inception tried to introduce the Ruga (‘human settlement policy’), which has raised controversy amongst Nigerians.

Orngu Anngu of Benue Campaigning against Ruga

The unpopular policy which has been suspended aimed at resolving the conflict between nomadic Fulani herdsmen and sedentary farmers.
If realised, it would “create reserved communities where herders will live, grow and tend their cattle, produce milk and undertake other activities associated with the cattle business without having to move around in search of grazing land for their cows.

But since its failure to take off, the Buhari-led administration has gone on to advocate for open grazing, another policy that most Nigerians, especially those from the South are opposed to.

In a survey of Nigeria’s 36 States by land mass, the following data was realised. It can be seen from the data below that Northern Nigeria has far more land mass than the South, and such, should the Federal Government choose to continue with its open grazing bid and/or Ruga settlements, the Southern part of Nigeria is not needed.

Nigeria’s 36 States & FCT Ranked in Order of Land Surface Area (KM²)

1. Niger State 76,363KM²
2. Borno State 70,898KM²
3. Taraba State 54,473KM²
4. Kaduna State 46,053KM²
5. Bauchi State 45,837KM²
6. Yobe State 45,502KM²
7. Zamfara State 39,762KM²
8. Adamawa State 36,917KM²
9. Kwara State 36,825KM²
10. Kebbi State 36,800KM²
11. Benue State 34,059KM²
12. Plateau State 30,913KM²
13. Kogi State 29,833KM²
14. Oyo State 28,454KM²
15. Nasarawa State 27,117KM²
16. Sokoto State 25,973KM²
17. Katsina State 24,192KM²
18. Jigawa State 23,154KM²
19. Cross River State 20,156KM²

Thünen-Institut Dairy Farm in Germany

20. Kano State 20,131KM²
21. Gombe State 18,768KM²
22. Edo State 17,802KM²
23. Delta State 17,698KM²
24. Ogun State 16,762KM²
25. Ondo State 15,500KM²
26. Rivers State 11,077KM²
27. Bayelsa State 10,773KM²
28. Osun State 9,251KM²
29. Federal Capital Territory 7,315KM²
30. Enugu State 7,161KM²
31. Akwa Ibom State 7,081KM²
32. Ekiti State 6,353KM²
33. Abia State 6,320KM²
34. Ebonyi State 5,670KM²
35. Imo State 5,530KM²
36. Anambra State 4,844KM²
37. Lagos State 3,345KM²

A cattle farmer feeding his animals

*Anambra + Enugu + Abia + Imo + Ebonyi = 29,525KM²

*Kogi = 29,833KM²

*Ogun + Oyo + Osun + Ondo + Ekiti = 76,320KM²
*Lagos = 3,345KM²

Niger State alone = 76, 363KM²

  • It therefore means that Niger State alone = Entire South Western States (excluding Lagos)
  • It therefore means the entire South East is a little less than Kogi State only.

A typical Cattle Farm in Myanmar

By these indices, the North has plenty land for ranching and cattle colony. Those in the South West have little land mass.

Top 10 NATIONS in Terms of Cattle Inventory (2017)

Curled from Global Cattle Business: Fact Sheet

1. INDIA 303 million

2. BRAZIL 226 million
3. CHINA 100 million.

4. USA 93 million.
5. EU 89 million.
6. ARGENTINA 53 million
7. AUSTRALIA 27 million
8. RUSSIA 18 million
9. MEXICO 16 million
10. TURKEY 14 million.

Dairy Farming in New Zealand

Top 10 Cattle Milk Exporters
1. NEW ZEALAND $4.4 Billion
2. GERMANY $2.6 Billion
3. NETHERLANDS $1.9 Billion
4. FRANCE $1.5 Billion
5. USA $1.4 Billion
6. BELGIUM $1.2 Billion
7. AUSTRALIA $852 Million
8. BELARUS $637 Million
9. UK $569 Million
10. SAUDI ARABIA $556 Million

Top 10 Beef Exporting Nations (2016)

1. AUSTRALIA $5.6 Billion
2. USA $5.2 Billion
3. BRAZIL $4.3 Billion
4. INDIA $3.7 Billion
5. NETHERLANDS $2.7 Billion
6. IRELAND $2 Billion
7. NEW ZEALAND $1.9 Billion
8. CANADA $1.5 Billion
9. URUGUAY $1.4 Billion
10. GERMANY $1.3 Billion

More Facts About Cattle Farming
1. Nigeria is not among the top 20 nations in the global cattle business.

2. None of the top cattle producing nations create cattle colonies or engage in primitive cattle grazing. All the top cattle producing and exporting nations utilise modern technology and ranching methods to maximise production and profit.

3. None of the top nations earning billions of dollars annually from the cattle business condone the killing of citizens for cattle.

4. Nigeria’s cattle business requires a complete re-think now and not later, for posterity’s sake.

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