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BREAKING: Inferno Devastates Osun’s Royal Farm, Causing N150m Loss of Palm Trees, Pineapples

A devastating inferno has razed over 50 acres of palm trees and pineapples, valued at N150 million, at Royal Farm located in Akeredolu Village, Osu, within the Atakumosa West Local Government Area of Osun.

Founder, Rufus Jegede disclosed the tragic incident during a news conference held at the farm on Sunday, revealing that the blaze erupted on Friday.

Established in 2015 post-retirement, the farm, encompassing palm oil production, animal husbandry, including piggery and cattle rearing, as well as other arable cropping endeavors, suffered severe losses.

Despite the setback, Mr. Jegede emphasized his commitment to contributing to the nation’s food security efforts through his agricultural initiatives.

“We have created employment to no fewer than 40 workers, as we observed that government alone could not do it, thereby reducing unemployment in the country.

“Before the farm got to this stage, we had been planting lots of things, taking them to the market with a view to reducing insufficiency in Nigeria,” he said.

Jegede said that before the incident, a minimum of 50 kegs of palm oil were being produced per week, while about 500 tons of pineapples were being harvested annually.

He said that he lost close to 4,000 palm trees and five acres of pineapple farm, as they were badly burnt, lamenting that, with the incident, there would no harvest from the palm trees and pineapples this year.

He said that only his farm was destroyed by the fire, thus suspecting that some hoodlums, whom he described as ‘wicked individuals’ might have set the farm ablaze.

“This is the third time that the farm would be ravaged with fire since its establishment,” he said.

Jegede stated further that a man, simply identified as Sunday, who, he said, used to disturb, steal, harvest their plantain and pineapple had been apprehended in connection with the fire.

He complained of laziness among some youth, who were not ready to contribute their own quota toward making Nigeria greater.

He said that, at a time, the farm promised some empowerment for youths in form of seedlings, support and stipends, adding, however, that no one had shown interest in the last two years.

“Most of the people doing farming in Osun are northerners and foreigners. It appears as if our youths are not interested.

Jegede, however, expressed the regret that in spite of the popularity of the farm, no government agency had come to visit the facility, adding that there had also been no intervention or support from anywhere.

He called on government to prioritise agriculture by making policies that would further encourage farming in the country.