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Traders lament farm lands acquisition by foreign

By on March 26, 2011

The National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) has decried the spate of land acquisition by foreign governments and interests in Nigeria and other developing countries.

Relying on the United Nations report on this development, the President of the association, Mr. Ken Ukoaha, said the UN report stated that “74 million acres of farmland in the developing world were acquired by foreign governments and the so called foreign investors over the first half of 2009, an amount that equal to half of Europe’s farmland”.

Though he applauded the government’s effort to invest in agriculture, he lamented the neglect of small-scale farmers in the scheme of government policies for national agricultural growth. 2008 he said, witnessed “a truly extraordinary number of negotiations on the part of governments and private firms looking to sign agreements that would confer ownership of, or long term leases on, land abroad”.

Ukoaha stated these at the validation workshop of Land Grab study in Nigeria and Its Effect on Small Scale Farmers in Abuja, stating that the focus of the workshop was to see the adverse effect of land grabs on small scale farmers.

He noted that all the deals resulted in signed contracts, stressing that while many were still under negotiations, “others have fallen apart because of adverse reactions in the countries where the land is located or because the global financial crisis has dried up available capital.”

Source : The Nation