'We Will Resist South African Farmers'


The proposal by Niger State government to bring South African farmers into the state  will face protest from farmers in the state. Farmers who spoke to P.M.NEWS said they  will reject in totality the idea of the state government introducing South African  farmers in the state.

They said they will fight and protect their farmlands against foreign farmers whom  they discribed as invaders.

According to them if the state government succeeds in bringing them into the state,  the local farmers will lose most of the farms they inherited from their ancestors  just like it happened in Kwara State

Malam Makun, 70, and Mallam Shaba in Badegi Local Government of the state said both  the federal and state governments confiscated their hectares of land for the  establishement of Badegi Rice Research Institute but the original owners did not  benefit from it. “Now we are told that the state government is planning to bring  foreign farmers; they should know that we are not going to give out our farms any  more,” says Mallam Makun

Mallam Shaba called on the state government “to allocate government own farm lands  not those that belong to the poor farmers who rely on the few hectares of land to  feed their families”.

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The state government said it has concluded arrengements to introduce the South  African farmers in the state with the aim of boosting food production as well as  introducing new and modern farming techniques to rural farmers in the state.

State commissioner of Agriculture, Alhaji Aminu Yusuf, said the foreign farmers will  engage in rice, maize, sugar cane and animal production. He said over six thousand  hectares of land that the visiting farmers will cultivate have been identified by  consultants hired by the state government, a project that cost the government over  N3million.

“The report of the consultant identified 19 irrigation schemes requiring  rehabilitation and 6,200 hectares of potential irrigation sites that could be  harnessed,” the commissioner added.

On the protest of the state farmers against the coming of the South African farmers  in the state the commissioner said the state government has secured 1.0 billion  naira from the Federal government for on-lending to small farmers towards enhancing  their productions” already the structure and implementations and modalities have  been approved by the government and funds will be distributed to the benefiting  farmers soon”

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