Farm estate is a ‘win-win’ situation for developers and subscribers
Real estate developers are currently exploring farm estate as new business opportunity to create wealth, generate employment and guarantee food security among Nigerians.
The new move is not unconnected with COVID-19 outbreak, which has depleted the nation’s foreign reserves, household income, company revenue and threatens food security.
Speaking with New Telegraph on the new investment opportunity, Chairman, Almart International Nigeria Limited, Mr. Martins Iluyomade, said that farm estate had become imperative post-COVID-19 to ensure food security, kick-start the economy and create jobs.
According to him, with the challenges thrown up by COVID-19, the country needed to go back to farming. To encourage the new investment opportunity, he pointed out that the Federal Government had stopped giving forex for importation of maize so that Nigerians could produce and save the country from a lot of forex that could have been taken out of the country.
For this purpose, Iluyomade said his company, a real estate development firm, had acquired large expanse of land around Siun village in Obafemi -Owode along Abeokuta-Shagamu Expressway, for interested investors to subscribe solely for farming.
According to him, option available for investors is that they either own the land, which is currently selling at N200, 000 per plot, or own the produce. He said: “The farming thing is the way to go. A lot of value chain is going there; it is going to generate employment, and help stabilise the economy.”
The Almart International boss explained that things that would take Nigerians out of COVID-19 effects included food, extra income and construction due to their value chain. Iluyomade explained that subscribers to Almart farm estate were allowed to grow three crops namely: maize, cassava and vegetable.
According to him, anything outside these would not be allowed, adding that there must be an agreement. He said subscribers had nothing to worry about as the firm has carried out its due diligence before acquiring the land from government.
On the issue of insecurity as it affects establishment of farm estate, Almart International’s Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Babawale Omogbolahan, said the company had put a lot of measures/ mechanism in place to guarantee safety of subscribers. Some of them, he said, included the engagement of locals, employment of village members for farm work and ensure staff are in peace with the immediate environment.
Corroborating Iluyomade, Principal Partner, Stephen Jagun and Associates, Mr. Stephen Jagun, said that farm estate was currently in vogue among estate developers due to the state of economy. He said developers had become creative, having discovered another business opportunity in farming either through lease or outright sale. He described farm estate as a win-win situation for developers and land owners (in case of lease) to generate income.
He said: “They have the land and maybe they have not finished payment, instead of been stuck, they lease it for farming and make money.
“Some go further to provide assistance by organising people to farm for them. Investors see them as a stakeholders (sleeping partners). They bring their fund and developers organise how it works.”