To address some of the issues raised:

1. We need to see the Farmers-Herders crisis beyond politics as many have perceived. The issue should rather be viewed as survival of the fittest (livelihood survival). Livelihood which is already being threatened as a result of climate change is affecting every sundry.

2. Every stakeholder needs to embrace farming as a business - be it herding or crop production, with an end result to make ends meet. Thus, every business needs to be invested in to make a good return. This should be the status quo. The business culture should be the only accepted norm and every culture should be subjected to it. Nothing more, nothing less.

3. We need to stop the narrative of referring to herdsmen as "Fulani" which is posing a threat to our unity as a nation. The atrocities perpetrated by some herdsmen should be condemned by all, but we should avoid playing the tribal card which could lead to bigger problems across the Nation (which is currently posing threats as we read)

Let empathy lead and reconciliation follows. Our unity is beyond the interest of an individual
4. Arable farmers and herdsmen are important assets in achieving food security. No one of them is greater than the other. Arable farmers and herdsmen must be protected including their livelihood. No one should lose their livelihood as a result of another's activities. The government must come out to address these issues with all sense of patriotism without being biased and stop passing blames to the opposition.

5. Solving this age long issue as a nation requires a holistic view. Identifying and understanding the root cause (rather than the symptoms) is the first stage in proffering the needed solutions. Let empathy lead and reconciliation follows. Our unity is beyond the interest of an individual!

6. Lastly, our co-existence should benefit one another (herdsmen and arable farmers), we need all hands on deck to achieve zero hunger. This can be achieved when peace and unity is restored, wounds are healed and bridges are amended. It is time to rebuild for a greater future and a better agricultural ecosystem in our nation.



In his weekly column Letter to my Farmers, Babatunde Olarewajo writes about personal experiences and insights on farming, curated through working with smallholder farmers in Africa. Last week's letter is available here.