The Ogun State Commissioner for Forestry, Mr. Adebayo Fari, has said the state has recovered 200 hectares of land from cocoa farmers in the state who had possessed them illegally within government forestry reserves.
He said this at the training of divisional forest programme officers organised by the ministry and Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria held in Abeokuta.
He described this as a step towards massive afforestation in the state in accordance with the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals on environmental sustainability.
Fari also who explained that the state government has partnered Federal government through Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria on human capital development and training of divisional forest programme officers, added that this would improve their capacity and expertise in the area of afforestation and prevention of illegal felling of trees in the state-owned forest reserves.
He said, “The state government is embarking on massive afforestation, and part of the strategy is this partnership.”
Fari said government had begun massive plantation of tree seedlings at the state-owned nursery at Arakanga in Abeokuta North Local government area for regeneration and free distribution of tree seedlings, having observed the disturbing rate at which trees were indiscriminately felled across the State.
He said, “One of the targets of this administration is actually in the area of afforestation and to a very large extent, we are achieving that goal.
“We have been able to talk to cocoa farmers who had hitherto taken over our land, we have been able to get over 200 hectares from them and we are signing an MoU with them on afforestation.
“Today, as soon as I leave here I’m moving towards Ogbere in Ijebu-East Local government to see the evacuation.”
The Executive Director, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Olufunmilayo Badejo, who was represented by Adesola Baiyewu, Managing Director -FRIN Consult, noted that the Federal Government partnered the state government in human capital development in order to prevent natural disasters through global warming.
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