Edo Government on Friday in Benin compensated over 34 farmers in Ovia North-East local government area of the state farming on the land belonging to the State College of Education, Ekiadolor.
Peter Aikhuomobhogbe, Permanent Secretary, Edo State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, while speaking during the disbursement of the fund said the land has been allocated to the Young Business Leaders of Nigeria, for mechanised farming.
Aikhuomobhogbe noted that governor Godwin Obaseki had approved the relocation of the farmers farming on the college land with a promise to compensate them after evaluation of their farms.
“A few months ago, we came to your village and told you that the college land which you have been farming on has been allocated to a non-governmental organization for large scale farming.
“We also told you that the governor graciously approved the payment of compensation to all of you farming on that land because he does not want your labour to be in vain.
“So today, we are here to fulfil that promise to pay you for the crops planted on the land.
“Government has valued your crops and came up with adequate compensation for each of you,” he said.
According to him, the farmers would be paid between N150,000 to N250,000 depending on the value of the farm.
Mr Ojo Iyobosa, the leader of the farmers and a beneficiary thanked the state government for the kind gesture saying that it would enable them to start afresh.
Also speaking, the Programme Manager of the Young Business Leaders of Nigeria (YBLN), Chukwuka Eneogwe said the land allocated to it would be used to drive agricultural development initiatives.
Eneogwe said” the governor has graciously approved the land at Ekiadolor for us to farm and produce livestock.
“Our priority is to create jobs through skills and educational training.
“In this first phase of this initiative, we are going to empower about 50 women because women are more prudent with money.
“We are going to prepare the land, provide inputs and allocate plots to each of the women, he said.
He explained that the NGO would bring off-takers to off-take the farm produce.