TO THOSE THAT WILL DECIDE
From history,we learn that man began its journey by gathering wild fruits,then moved on to hunting with stone tools.At a point, man started planting seeds of wild fruits,hence the very genesis of agriculture.With it began division of labor, specialization and all other known human advancement,including the rise to prominence of nations.
Agriculture given the right attention brought about food security,which freed many human minds to contemplate other matters.These other matters resulted into technological,economic and socio-cultural advancement.Today,many nations of the world referred to as developed have strong agricultural base,and they are still looking outward for raw farm produce,among other things,to consolidate their position.Therefore,the importance of agriculture can not be over emphasized.
In the Nigeria of old,Agriculture was the main stay of our economy,and the country was well-off.Then,came oil and the boom of the1970s,which has made the country neglect agriculture and become over reliant on petrol dollar.On the wheel of this reliance ride all manners of vices,of which corruption has become the most deadly.
For decades,Governments(both the kaki boys and those in baba riga)have being making a lot of noise and wasting the nations resources in the name of revamping and re-orientating the agricultural sector,yet we have had no meaningful result.This is so because there is a lack of honesty and absence of a well planned programme driven by a pellucid vision.
To make the necessary headway,we need conscious determination backed by a reasonable blue print.It is not just the responsibility of the government but that of every Nigerian.As a citizen of this country,I have an idea,which is not final,concerning the way forward.
Nigeria has close to eight hundred local government areas which could serve as viable units for agricultural specialization,information dissemination and points of aid disbursement to rural farmers.Agricultural departments,filled with experts,should be set up in each local government area,and where it already existed it should be revived and strenghtened.These departments will carry out study of their respective area to find out which crop or live stock is best suitable to the conditions of their environment.
After a department has decided what to produce,it should then go ahead and execute its project on a sizable amount of land provided and funded by the local government.The land and its yields,be it crop or live stocks,belong to it benefactor,and should be sold for profit.
Most importantly,the farm lands should be treated as models.From time to time,mandatory research must be carried out by each departments to ensure that they are well equiped to diseminate latest information about marketing of farm produce,farming techniques and skills to local farmers,whose register they should keep.Each local government agricultural departments must work in conjunction with,and be under the regulation of the state commission for agriculture
With up to date records of local farmers kept by each agriculture departments in every local government,the state commissions and the federal ministry would always have working knowledge of how many people they are giving support to.Also,special task force and monitoring team should be created at both the state and the federal levels to ensure that aids reached those it is truly meant for and anybody found guilty of corruption is brought to book.