Help Nigerian farmers resist the corporate land grab

An area of land in Eastern Nigeria, the size of 42 thousand football pitches, is being turned into a huge rice plantation for the profit of multinational company Dominion Farms.

This land has been used by the local community for generations to feed their families and small-scale farmers depend on it for their livelihoods. The local community say they were not consulted and there is no plan for resettlement. And, incredibly, the UK government is channeling over £140m of aid money into an initiative to attract multinational corporations, including US company Dominion Farms, to Nigeria. 

Nigeria land grab

Already, local people have been cut off from public water systems, forced to abandon their traditional grazing rights and large fishing ponds have been filled with sand. Stand with small-scale farmers resisting the land grab and tell Dominion Farms to pull out.

Local farmer, Alhaji Mairiga Musa says “We are speaking in one voice against Dominion Farms because we are opposing their activities… They came with security personnel to evict all farmers who were working on their lands”

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Background information

As a country signed up to the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, Nigeria has committed to make policy reforms to attract multinational corporations. This includes Dominion Farms who have pledged $40 million as part of this initiative.  Ten African countries, including Nigeria, have signed agreements with the New Alliance. 

Vast tracts of agricultural lands in Nigeria have been identified by their government for large-scale projects by foreign companies. This increases the risk of land grabbing, a process whereby local communities are displaced from their land and lose their ability to grow food and their livelihoods.

Dominion Farms is one of these foreign companies. The company already operates a controversial rice plantation in Kenya. Here, local farmers have spoken out about the loss of their lands, livelihoods and grave social, environmental and health impacts of the affected communities.

Since 2010 when the Dominion Farms first made an appearance in Nigeria, the local farmers have not been properly consulted. They have been promised compensation like schools and hospitals but that has not materialised. And no locals have been hired by the company.

The local people are united in their opposition to the Dominion Farms project. Rebecca Sule from the local communities says: “We do not subscribe to a foreign agricultural and farming system that we do not have knowledge. They came here to farm. The only story we hear is that our land is taken away and will be given out. We were not involved at any level. For the sake of the future and our children, we are requesting governmental authorities to ask Dominion Farms to stay away from our land”

The needs of the community must be prioritised over the profits of Dominion Farms. The lands must remain in the hands of the local farmers who have worked the lands to supply the people of Taraba State with food for generations.

Take action now - tell Dominion Farms CEO Calvin Burgess to stop the land grab.

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