The solution is Holistic Land and Livestock management with rotational grazing on reserves.
Phyllis Sortor’s friendship with the Fulani soon revealed the terrible loss of lives, both human and animal, brought about by the nomadic system of grazing in place in Nigeria, and she began to seek a solution. The solution Phyllis found was at the Africa Center for Holistic Management, at the Dimbangombe Ranch near Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, where world-renowned scientist and ecologist, Allan Savory, taught and practiced managed, rotational grazing.
In 2012, Phyllis, Alhaji Bature, and three other Nigerians traveled to the Institute’s Center for Holistic Land and Livestock Management, (HLLM,) near Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and were trained personally by Allan Savory.
In 2013, Phyllis invited Usiel Kandjii, certified trainer under Savory Institute, to Hope Academy where he trained fifty Fulani herdsmen in HLLM and planned, rotational grazing. Phyllis then opened the first teaching grazing reserve in Nigeria: the Ero Mountain Grazing Reserve in Kogi State.
In the same year, Phyllis was invited to present HLLM on grazing reserves to the Federal House of Representatives in Abuja, thereafter sitting on several government committees planning the re-opening of grazing reserves which had failed in the past due to mismanagement and over-grazing. In dozens of letters written to government officials at every level, Phyllis requested that designated grazing reserves be given in each state with full training in the HLLM methodology which would guarantee success in the future.
In 2016, Phyllis invited Allan Savory with his colleague Tre Cates to be special presenters at the Stakeholders Consultative Forum on Holistic Land Management for Sustainable Crop and Livestock Production. Over twenty states have now committed to the donation of grazing lands to Fulani herdsmen.
In August, the Federal Ministry for Agriculture and Rural Development, (FMARD,) gave Phyllis a four-year appointment, putting her in charge of grazing reserves in three states, with an invitation to open a fourth reserve in any state of her choice.
In November, 2016, Schools for Africa in collaboration with FMARD invited Mr. Usiel Kandjii to train sixty Fulani herdsmen, state and federal agriculture extension workers, for 2 weeks, in HLLM and planned grazing, with the goal of successfully settling Fulani herdsmen and their families on the three grazing reserves, Bobi in Niger St., Kachia in Kaduna St. and Garbagal in Jigawa St. The training was highly successful; the sixty men have returned to the three reserves and are putting into practice what they have learned.
The FMARD and Schools for Africa plan now is to successfully settle Fulani herdsmen with their families on protected reserves with full understanding and implementation of HLLM and planned grazing.