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Business News of Monday, 6 March 2023


Farmland prices continue to rise

A farm land A farm land

Farmland values across the country have continued to rise with an acre selling for between N600,000 and N2 million depending on the area.

Since 2020, the average value of farmland has gone up by 100 per cent in places like Badagry, Ikorodu, in Lagos, Iseyin in Oyo State and Papalanto in Ogun State.

This, however, is not supported by strong farm cash to warrant the increases.

For instance, two acres of farmland were put up for sale at N3.6 million at Atan, Ota, Ogun State. These would have been half the price in 2018.

Acres of farmland for sale at Siun, Ogun State, off Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, are selling for N1.5 million per acre. In Ijebu, Ogun State, an acre of farmland sold for N500,000.

There has been a bit of variability in farmland values in states, with farmlands costing ]much more in Abuja than in the southern part.

From findings, farmlands are only affordable at the outskirts. For example, six hectares of farmland at Paiko around Abuja sold for N6 million.

Four thousand acres of virgin farmland at Komu, Itesiwaju Local Government Area (LGA) of Oyo State was advertised for sale at N40,000 per acre. However, the seller insisted the minimum purchase was 1,000 acres.

Three acres of virgin farmland were put up for sale at Butubutu Village, off Ife-Ibadan Road, Ona-Ara LGA of Oyo State, at N300,000 per acre.

At Ilero Village, Iseyin, Oyo, an acre of farmland sells for N200,000.

In Iseyin, before 2017, farmland values were around N80,000 per acre. At the moment, the price has doubled per acre.

According to the President, Federation of Agricultural Commodities Association of Nigeria (FACAN), Dr. Victor Iyama, farming has been a challenge to make a living with issues such as insecurity, weather, financing and foreign competition confronting farmers.

He noted that the cost of a farmland was becoming a deterrent to next generation of farmers, with prices and demand rising so rapidly.

Unless something is done to give aspiring farmers some relief from the high cost of acquiring farmland, he said many youths would not have access to farmland.

Iyama has urged for infrastructure improvements and farmland expansion to increase food production to prevent a food crisis.

He wants increased efforts to revamp irrigation systems, build modern farming machines, and create more arable land as the nation faces the urgent task of improving the agricultural sector. According to him,further policy action was required to address new and emerging challenges

He lamented that economic reforms have not generated impressive results in the agricultural sector, adding that much have to be done to increase farm production , lift rural incomes, reduce poverty, combat under-nourishment and send agro-food exports soaring.

He indicated that Nigeria has to radically boost its place in global agro-food markets,calling for an improved policy environment, to enable investments that will allow the farm sector to continue to adapt to the opportunities created by rising demand and the challenges of climate change and limited resources. Rising labour costs,he maintained, should open opportunities to adopt new technologies .Stakeholders had advocated for improved data collection that shows who owns land and how it is being used. They noted this was critical given that land is so important to the agricultural industry.