Nigeria’s Farm Settlements Cry for Attention as Food Inflation Bites Harder

Between 1955 and 1960, the late Obafemi Awolowo established farm settlements and institutes in the Western Region of Nigeria, replicating the idea from Israel and Sudan. However, the Iyana Church-Olodo Road, connecting passengers and residents to Lalupon, Ejioku, and other communities, is in a state of disrepair. The poor infrastructure has caused frustration among residents, who have complained for years but have received promises from the government. Many holdings, which were once managed by individual farmers, have been sold due to the poor road and infrastructure.

The Lalupon farm settlement in Nigeria could have significantly contributed to food security in Oyo and its surrounding areas if properly managed. However, poor infrastructure and neglect by successive governments have led to its poor state. The Lalupon settlement, primarily for poultry, has the potential to address food inflation and other issues in Oyo and the South-west. The situation in Lalupon is similar to other farm settlements established across the old western region under the leadership of the late Obafemi Awolowo. The World Bank reported that Nigeria and other countries in Africa, North America, and Latin America have been most affected by domestic food price inflation. The country’s food inflation rate increased to 32.84% in November 2022, 8.72 percentage points higher than the previous year.

In 2019, the Oyo State Government announced plans to revive all farm settlements in the state, including nine in Eruwa. In 2021, the government facilitated a N7.6 billion loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria to finance the development of the Akufo farm settlement and upgrade it to a farm estate (Agribusiness Industrial Hub). The Fashola Farms Settlement at Fashola is being rebuilt to become the Fashola Agribusiness Industrial Hub, the first of such hubs in Oyo State. Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State impressed the quality of work done at the Fashola farms, adding that residents would soon feel the economic impact of the project. However, Mr. Owoeye argued that interventions need to be evenly spread across the settlements and different parts of the nation to have a meaningful impact on domestic food prices and food sustainability.

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