Some farmers in Ikorodu area of Lagos have said that the ongoing urban transformation of the area makes farming unfavourable.
Some of the farmers who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria, therefore, urged the state government to discourage the activities of land grabbers, who they alleged, have taken over the farmlands in the area.
The farmers said on Sunday that many lands allocated for farming have been used to build residential accommodation and shopping arenas.
According to them, most farmers are losing their farmlands to land grabbers in the area.
A poultry farmer, Laja Ayomide, said that there was the need to curtail the rate of urban development in Ikorodu, to improve farming.
Mr. Ayomide explained that a large proportion of Ikorodu land originally used for farming were being converted to other business purposes.
”The agricultural area of Ikorodu and lands after the Lagos State Polytechnic complex at Odogunyan were being used for farming.
”The lands were allocated by the state government for farming but they have been used to build accommodation,” he said.
A fish farmer, Dele Akinolu, said many landlords in the area were occupying lands meant for farming.
He said the agricultural sector in Ikorodu was being short-changed when lands meant for farming were converted to other uses.
He urged the state government not to grant further approvals for land use for the building of residential houses, markets or factories in the area.
”We now have building materials markets in Ikorodu, instead of farm produce markets, even in a particular place that is supposed to be a farm settlement,” he said.
To another poultry farmer, Thomas Edegbe, the high cost of eggs in Ikorodu was due to high cost of transporting the farm produce into the area.
Mr. Edegbe said that many poultry farmers around Odogunyan were migrating to areas conducive for egg production in Epe and along the Ikorodu/Sagamu Road.
”Farming is most suitable in a place with high natural vegetation and less noise from human activities,” he said.
John Demurin, a poultry farmer, also said that the state government was to blame for the poor urban renewal of farming communities in Ikorodu.
”There has been consistent abuse to the urban policy of this state over a long period of time,” he noted.