A cashew nursery based in Kobape under Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of Ogun has been razed by fire, destroying 130,000 seedlings and eco-friendly nursery structure said to worth N200 million.
Sotonye Anga, Owner and Operator of Sotonye Anga Farms told newsmen yesterday that the fire started in the early hours of June 1.
Anga, while expressing his sadness, said that the cashew nursery was the largest in Nigeria and arguably in Africa and had employed over 500 people in the Ogun community.
According to Anga, it was raining heavily at the time the fire started but the fire was on and no one could say how the fire started.
“The fire started between 12 mid-night and 1 O’clock am. The cashew nursery is the largest in Nigeria and Africa.
“The total of cashew seedlings destroyed was 130,000 and its nursery is valued to be about N200 million.
“On the piece of land, we had two nurseries but since they were built apart, one of the nurseries was not touched by the fire, while one was completely burnt down.
“The nursery was a major employer of labour in the community. We created over 500 jobs, if we had succeeded in taking the seedlings into the field it would have created over 5,000 jobs,’’ he said.
Anga, who is also the National Publicity Secretary of National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN), said the farm would have significantly contributed to the total cashew production output in Nigeria.