The President of Igangan Agro Park Investors Association (IAPIA), Femi Abioye has said that the 2021 farming season has been the best for farmers in Igangan Community in Oyo State as they witnessed bounty harvest.
Abioye said after Sunday Adeyemo popularly called Sunday Igboho intervened in the killing and kidnapping of farmers by criminal herdsmen, the farmers have long returned to their farms as full farming activities resumed in the community.
“If you go back into history, it has been very tough for farming communities in the entire Igangan, even the commercial farmers that are farming on government land, it has been very tough at some point about 23 investors moved into Igangan about 4 years ago, we have only about 5 investors left as at January 2021 majorly due to the destruction by the criminal herdsmen.
“So, with the violence perpetrated by criminal herdsmen on the locals in Igangan led to the activities of Sunday Adeyemo popularly called Sunday Igboho coming to their rescue.
“Before, it was just destruction of farms and maiming of locals, but much later, banditry entered and serious kidnapping before Sunday Igboho came.
“Though his activities were crude but at the same time, it has yielded results because the driving away of the Seriki Fulani in Igangan who was shielding the herdsmen community, both the good and the bad has reduced to almost zero of herdsmen atrocities in Igangan”, Abioye said.
He said in the 2021 farming season, both commercial and subsistence farmers recorded bounty harvest, and 2021 is the first year he planted maize and recorded zero destruction by herdsmen.
“Now, when you talk about crop farming, there has been bounty harvest in the entire Igangan for this 2021 farming season for both commercial farmers and the locals.
“I can tell you that this is the first year that I, as a commercial farmer, cultivated a maize farm without destruction by the herdsmen. My farms have always been destroyed by the criminal herdsmen in past.
“It is on record; in September 2020 a group of about 88 cows was arrested on my farm when they destroyed 25 hectares of maize farm that was almost ready for harvest in one single day. That is what we have been suffering in that Igangan community”, he noted.
The IAPIA President revealed that two investors who took loans to start business in Igangan Community fled over fear of herdsmen attack, while another two were killed by the herdsmen in the community.
“We have two investors among us that took loans to start business after they took the land from the government, but they could not come back for the investment because of herdsmen scare, we have two investors that were killed by herdsmen.
“Someone like me has over 1000 acres of land, and I have only cultivated about 400 acres, I have over 600 acres of land that is just green vegetation, and the herdsmen will leave the green vegetation and come into the cultivated land, this is callous.
“In 2020, we did a multi-million Naira investment, we did irrigation on the land, but the herdsmen invaded the farm and destroyed the whole investment.
“Some investors will cultivate a huge tomato farm, the herdsmen will just bring in their cows and destroy everything, I will be happy if you will visit Igangan and speak to farmers and see how happy they are because there is bounty harvest, no destruction.
“The only thing I can tell you is that in the entire Igangan Community, there is tension because of fear of reprisal attack by the herdsmen, but when it comes to farming business, everybody is getting good yield and no destruction.
“What we are doing as a group of investors is to bring back other investors that had left because of herdsmen atrocities, and we hope for a better 2022”, Abioye added.