Oyo State Government has appealed to residents to allow investors in Agriculture to use their lands on mutually agreed terms, as the government has commenced “zero tolerance on idle land” policy in the state.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, Prince Oyewole Oyewumi, who made the appeal at a press conference in Ibadan said there are many people or corporate organisations that wanted to invest in agriculture in the state, but are having problems acquiring land despite the abundance of land in the state.
Giving details of the various schemes and mode of operation of the policy, he said that concepts like out-grower scheme, renting out the land, outright sales, payment of royalty, partnership agreement among others will be available to communities as options to choose from, while making their vacant land available to the investors-farmers.
Oyewumi said unless people are willing to sell or lease out their land to investors, the state may not achieve its aim of turning Agric to business and ensuring food security.
He said, “Land owned by communities and individuals can be made available to investors for productive purposes. Landowners are encouraged to use their land with support from the government through a policy called out-grower scheme. The out-grower scheme is a collection of a group of farmers who work together to produce crops and farm produce and the produce are bought up by another group from the farms and then continue with the chain.
“Another scheme is for land to be leased or rent out to prospective investors-farmers or farmer cooperatives. The terms will be mutually agreed by both parties as both the investors and the community will dialogue depending on the type of crops to be cultivated. Outright sale of land is another option. An agreement between a willing buyer and willing seller can be reached but the government will not force anyone to sell off their land.
“Also, there is the option of payment of royalty, where farm produce is given to landowners in exchange for the use of the land for the agreed period.
There is also the option of a partnership agreement between landowners and investors, where the land could be taken as shares in the partnership.”