THE All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Lagos State Chapter, says it has acquired 200 hectares of farmland for rice cultivation in Epe area of the state.
AFAN’s Chairman Femi Oke, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Lagos that the move was to key into rice production and explore opportunities in that area.
He said a lot of opportunities had been created by the Federal Government through the closure of the county’s land borders against illegal importations.
According to him, the land was acquired under a five-year lease agreement to aid the association in contributing to the food basket of the nation through increase in annual metric tons of rice production.
Oke said: “We believe that we have to cultivate and have our own rice farm this coming season.
“We have encouraged our members to cultivate rice no matter how small it is, to contribute and increase the number of metric tons produced in the country.
“There are several people who will venture into the area of agriculture and that will improve food security in Nigeria.
“No area of agriculture should be left out, for instance, AFAN members are into aquaculture, poultry, vegetable, piggery, cattle rearing, rice and many other areas of farming.”
He urged the States and Federal Governments to assist farmers with machineries to create access road to various farm settlements in the country.
“The lack of access road to farmlands is hindering activities of many farmers, thereby making it very difficult for them to farm.
“Government should assist us in opening up most of these rural roads that link farmlands in areas like the 200 hectares we just acquired in Epe.
“It costs a lot to open up roads to these virgin farmland for farming. The cost is very high and government’s intervention will help us a great deal.
“We have rented the land from the land owners, which are some families and the next step is clearing.
“Most of these produce have seasons because you have to do it at the right time for you to get results,” he said.
Oke urged the Lagos State Government to support the association by providing bulldozers, tractors and other tools that would aid farming.