#Hope Metro

Fire destroys crops worth thousands of Naira

Jimoh Ahmed, Owo

Food crops worth several thousands of naira were destroyed by a raging bush fire set by unknown persons, along Jugbere Farm settlements road in Owo headquarters of Owo local government on Tuesday.

The bush fire which started at about 4pm destroyed food crops like cassava, plantain, cocoyam and tomatoes.

In an effort to find out what could have caused the fire, The Hope Metro learnt that hunters and people looking for bush meat might have deliberately set the bush on fire to kill games.

Some of the victims of the bush fire are mostly peasant farmers who have no other means to survive other than the little crops they planted.

A farmer, Mr. Jimoh Ahmed, lost about two acres of cassava in the process.

Speaking with our reporter, one of the victims, Mr Yisa Dada, while lamenting his loss, said he lost his investments in his cassava farm which would have fetched him over N500,000 when harvested.

Yisa, however, appealed to the State Government to come to his aid and that of other victims.

Similarly, Pastor Joseph Oluwarotimi, who lost over one acre of cassava farm and another acre of plantain plantation, disclosed that the occurrence will definitely put him and his family in a very difficult situation as they relied solely on the proceeds from the farm to take care of them.

Pastor Joseph also appealed to the Ondo State Government to assist the victims of bush fire in the state.

Other areas which bush fire wreaked havoc in Owo included Amehintin, Amunrin and Ute road farms settlements.

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In the same vein the high rate of indiscriminate bush burning in Akoko area of the state has continued unabated as farm settlements like Omodun, Utakariko and Utadare farms in Afin Akoko where  cocoa, cashew, cassava, palm trees and banana plantains are prominent were destroyed by bush fire set by unknown persons, particularly some hunters and people looking for games to kill and cigarettes smokers.

Our correspondent discovered that it was not limited to Afin alone, as farms between Arigidi and Okeagbe were also destroyed, causing the loss of valuable agricultural products in the area.

Two farmers from Afin Akoko who were victims of the fire incidents narrated their ordeals as their source of living had perished as they are now living in abject poverty and hopelessness.

They are Mr Pecco Salami and Alhaji Ibrahim Lawal, both owners of Cocoa farms at Omodun and Utakariko.

The duo who described bush burning as economic sabotage urged the Ondo State Government to enforce the law banning indiscriminate bush burning in the state.

They solicited compensation from government to enable them recover from the effects of the fire disaster.

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