The Permanent Secretary, Ondo State Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Sunday Akintomide, on Tuesday denied the rumour making the rounds that government destroyed farmlands in all the forest reserves in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls on Tuesday, the rumour mills alleged that state government has destroyed farmlands in forest reserves which resulted in the death of a farmer, a middle-aged man.
In a statement, made available to newsmen by the Ministry’s Press Officer, Mrs Bisi Lawani, Mr. Akintomide denied the rumour while while playing host to a non-governmental organization, People Against Corruption and Justice (PACI) in his office in Akure.
The permanent secretary called on all farmers working in the government forest reserves to come forward to register with the government to ensure proper documentation.
“As at today, about 400 farming camps have been identified and about 53,000 farmers have been registered by the Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the internal revenue service of the state.
He said the capturing has become imperartive to enable the government coordinate the activities of encroachers and kidnappers in the forest reserves, as well as generate income for the government.
Akintomide, who explained that those farmers that registered had been issued identity cards to work in the government reserves, said anyone who does not have the identity card was working illegally in the government reserves.
The permanent secretary, therefore, informed farmers to only pay N10,000 per hectare and also desist from planting cash crops.
He assured farmers of government preparedness to give them economic trees for planting to enable them regenerate areas that have been depleted.