Grazing cattle belonging to herders have allegedly destroyed some farms along the Tombia-Amassoma Road around Okutukutu in the Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
Some of the affected farmers have, therefore, called on the state government to urgently intervene in order to forestall an impending conflict.
They also urged Governor Douye Diri-led administration to properly enforce the state anti-open grazing law to prevent damages to crops by herders’ cows, who invade farms mostly at night.
Diri had on March 10 last year signed the Bayelsa State Livestock Breeding and Marketing Regulation Bill, 2021 into law after it was passed by the House of Assembly.
The law prohibits open-grazing of cows in the state and confines herders and livestock owners to a space at the Bayelsa Palm Road, Yenagoa.
The state government also constituted an anti-open grazing task force headed by the Commissioner for Agriculture, David Alagoa, to enforce the law.
One of the affected farmers, Patience Obein, lamented the destruction of her cassava farm on Friday by a herd of cattle saying, “all my labour is in vain.”
“When I came to my farm this morning, I discovered that all the cassava have been eaten and uprooted. The herders allowed their cows to graze on my farm in the night while people are sleeping. All my labour is in vain”, she said.
Another farmer, Martha JohnPerry, who is a widow, expressed frustration that her farm which was her only source of livelihood had been destroyed by cattle, calling on the state government to come to her aid.
Also speaking, Bernard England, appealed to the anti-opening grazing enforcement committee to wake up to its duties and stop the incessant destruction of farms by herders’ cattle.
Alagoa did not answer calls to be placed to his phone and he had yet to respond to a text message on the incident by our correspondent as of the time of filing this report.