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ERA/FoEN decries dangers of land grabbing for plantation expansion

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Environmental Expert and Executive Director, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), Dr. Godwin Uyi-Ojo, has decried the reckless expansion of oil palm plantations in states across the country, saying such large scale plantations are fast growing and capable of leading to a global phenomenon called land grabbing.

Speaking yesterday in Benin City during a training workshop titled “Community Land Rights and Oil Palm Expansion”, Uyi-Ojo said the growing expansion of large-scale oil palm plantations and land grabbing has led to scarcity of land for local food production.

While lamenting that local food production is hampered by land scarcity as some farmers have to pay exorbitant price annually for lease of parcels of land for farming of staples, he said such trend is telling on the rising local food prices of yam tubers, cassava, plantain, banana and vegetables.

Lamenting the level of land grabbing in Edo State as having serious consequences for the rural communities, local farming and livelihoods of the people, Uyi Ojo added that the expansion is growing because of oil palm is used in wide range of products and manufacturing including lubricants, medicine, biofuels, cosmetics, soap making and oil for cooking.

According to him, “ERA in conjunction with other civil society groups feel the pain and misery of the impacted communities and desire that both government and multinational companies respect communities free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) in any development to be located in their domain.”


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