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PIND: Access to land a major problem for farmers in Niger Delta

PIND: Access to land a major problem for farmers in Niger Delta
April 01
17:20 2021

The Foundation for Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta (PIND) says access to arable land for agriculture is a major constraint to increased productivity for farmers in the Niger Delta.

Chuks Ofulue, PIND’s advocacy manager, said increased access to agricultural land will improve the quality of lives of vulnerable citizens in the Niger Delta region.

Ofulue was speaking at a roundtable organised by the organisation in Asaba, the Delta state capital, on Wednesday.

He explained that prior to the event, the foundation conducted a study on access to agricultural land in Edo, Ondo and Delta states.

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“We know that access to land is the fundamental means whereby the poor can ensure food supplies to meet and generate income through production and processing as a means of livelihood.

“Yet, access to arable land remains a major constraint to the increased productivity of small farm holders in Nigeria, particularly the Niger Delta.

“As you know, Niger Delta suffers from a shortage of arable land based on the fact that it is surrounded by water.”

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Presenting the findings of the study, Biyi Daramola, a professor with the Federal University of Technology (FUTA), Akure, represented by Adegboyega Oguntade, a professor with the same institution, said most of the current insecurity issues in the country revolves around land.

Daramola said Nigeria has adequate land but the availability is constrained by the land use decree, land tenure system and other factors.

“Land is available but cannot be accessed. We need to free up the land. We need to redeem the land use act. It has not helped anybody, ” he said.

“I know Delta and Ondo states are talking about land banking but we have not really done enough about this idea. It has to have a legal instrument to back it up. When you put your land in a land bank, the enabling law must be there to regulate it.

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“For land banking to work, one thing that the Presidential Technical Committee on Land Reform (PTCLR) has been talking about for years now must be undertaken; that is land titling and registration.”

Land banking is the practice of aggregating parcels of land for future sale or development.

He also said issues surrounding land regulations must be considered for land banking to work.

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