Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state On Wednesday insisted that nobody would be allowed to operate in the state’s forest reserves without approval.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Gboyega Adefarati, who disclosed this in a statement on behalf of the governor, said the activities of the farmers were regulated to reduce criminality.
He revealed that over 50,000 farmers engaged in different forms of agricultural activities in the forest reserves had been registered. He also said 70% of the government reserves had been encroached upon by farmers as of 2017.
He said: “Love it or leave it; farming is farming be it crop production or animal husbandry. If any Nigerian irrespective of his/her State of origin desires land for farming in Government Forest Reserves, he/she must apply to the Ondo State Ministry of Agriculture and pay the normal fee for the required hectares of land.
“It is illegal for herdsmen to encroach Ondo State Government Forest Reserves without permission and graze on the farms, many of which will be destroyed.
“Let me say it again and again that no activity (hunting, planting crops and animal rearing) can be done in Ondo State Forest Conservation without permission. The laws guiding Ondo State Forest are clear and concise on it”.