The Nigerian Agro-revolution; drive, goal and objective.

It is no longer news that oil revenue has suffered an unprecedented drop globally. Economies largely dependent on oil proceeds have been greatly hit, leading to fluctuations in oil prices to between $35 – $45 per barrel. This has forced our leaders to have a rethink on alternative means of driving our economy from the norm of total oil revenue dependence to seeking out other sectors of the economy. 
Although Agriculture has always been an efficient option, evident in pre-oil discovery with great potentials, it has yet to be fully harnessed due to several factors such as change of government, inconsistencies in policies, inadequate implementation of policy, lack of technocrat involvement, little or no laid out plan for the future and a top-bottom approach to policy and implementation.
 The question is: Are we prepared, as a nation, for the proposed change in economy source or just faffing around as usual? 

What’s the hope of common man in this proposed agricultural drive?

What are the plans to make agriculture a sustainable venture?
Recently, different Agricultural program launches erupted across the country from North, East, West to South. 

State governments are getting busy trying to wake their agricultural heritage, from Kebbi state leading the revolution in crop production to Lagos state’s readiness to handle the processing, packaging, mass marketing, distribution and export of agricultural products or produce across the nation. Interest in other states is also encouraging as they plan to be actively involve in Agricultural production, processing, packaging, marketing and distribution. 

Amidst all this, a crucial point lacking is the zeal and involvement of able, willing and eager youths in the aforementioned sector of agriculture. Its imperative for every state to look inward and choose agricultural specifics that can emancipate their glut of unemployed or underemployed youths. 

Significant agricultural development can only be achieved by marrying the undying love of youths for technological advancement with local content development of agricultural practices. Nigerians are known to be creative individuals. All the government needs to do is provide an enabling environment and a level ground to fuse this creativity into significant development . 

 

To achieve this, government should shun politicizing the projects and allow only the few interested and qualified lots manage or run the affairs else the interest will soon become a burden. 
The media also has a role to play in making agriculture a worthy prospect for young lads in secondary schools and colleges across the country. The image of agriculture as a poverty ridden venture needs to be transformed urgently within the society, else the prospect of having any significant progress in Agricultural development will be unachievable. The media needs to focus on historic facts that shaped our country’s fortunes long before the discovery of oil; success stories of individuals involved in agriculture before and after oil discovery etc. these must be broadcasted as mainstream messages far and wide.

Agriculture is a venture that requires time to reap the benefits of its investment based on injected input from human capacity to available resources, capital layout and expertise involvement. 
Oyinkanola Mayowa Hafiz

Director, QMFarms Limited 

@czarohm

Seeking Identity 

The extent human set to find their cause is quite unraveling, paths of realization seems surreal, odd and myopic at first glance which makes little or few engage, only microscopic few people ready, willing, able and brave enough to question life occurrence and dare to effortlessly make impact/impart, tenacious, astute and strong enough to see their perspective through doggedly. 
Vacuum of sort exist in individual life phase at specific age in time, where status question of what next; pursuit of happiness or greener pastures, back to the root or square one, relentless effort of zeal to make better of current predisposed circumstances/condition lingers?

This very junction in life sojourn is a determinant factor of individual total essence, opinion on life intricacies, perception of opportunity, prospect and reflection on previous deeds in correlation with the uncertainty of today and tomorrow…
Indeed individual pursues constant search of knowledge cruise ranging on and forth in association circles, seeking sort of familiarity and solemn confirmation. Human existence basically lay claim to solitude in pursuit of pathways either to self-realization or career fulfillment, this often act has as the pine of individual which include means of existence, life scheme, extent of livelihood, survival instinct and absolute path of self-thought and expression. However steps taken to climb the ladder of success are in calculate preempt attempt, laced with thorns, natural folds of envy, peer and environmental pressure etc. ovation at best is no difference from boo at failure.

“Societal standards are shackles embedded to keep balance the split difference of class, a means to differentiate status according to tag line, only few willing, ready and determined breakthrough this shackles, free themselves off the cage of societal cacophony.”

Oyinkanola Mayowa H.

YOUTHS’ INVOLVEMENT IN AGRICULTURE IN SOUTH- WESTERN NIGERIA

‘If Agriculture remains stagnant, industry cannot grow’.

These were the words of Arthur Lewis to buttress the truth that Agriculture is significant of in any economy, as it contributes a quota which can never be under-estimated. Agriculture contributes to the GDP and foreign exchange market, the provision of food, materials for shelter and clothing, and a life-friendly environment. Agriculture can be considered as the first profession as seen in the creation story being told in the first book of the good book- the Bible. Also considering the fact that other sector of the economy depends on this sole sector confirms the statement that Agriculture is the bedrock of life. Agriculture is a noble profession.
Nigeria as a country is blessed with resources which include land, good climate and able-bodied men. With reference to the 2007 estimate, the nation has 55% of its total population as it labour force- that is those with on the age bracket of 15-65yrs of age. Also there are more educated youth in the southwest than in any other geographical area in Nigeria. It is expected that a nation with this peculiarities would be greatly involved in Agriculture, especially the south west, but it is saddening that this resources are not fully utilized. A greater percentage of the little food being produced in the nation comes from the north, from farmers who have no formal education as those in the down south.
Investment in Agriculture is not a problem of lack of able men but rather that of available men. The 21st century youths are now pre-occupied with thoughts of how they can make fast money with little or no work, therefore leading to an increase in vices in the country. They go about with the wrong notion that Agriculture should be left to farmers who are seen as uneducated, unskilled physical labourers, forgetting that if these farmers decide to stop farming, the whole nation is doomed. Yearly, the tertiary institutions turn out so many graduates to compete for the limited jobs in the labour market. Worse still is that you find even graduates of Agriculture who have studied in tertiary institutions and even went through the practical year, competing with others in the labour market for white collar jobs.
The economy of Nigeria is fast declining because there are no investments in Agriculture which can boost the foreign exchange sector through export of cash crops and agricultural by-products, but rather the little money or income is being spent on importation from countries which in the actual sense are not as rich in natural resources as Nigeria. Then the question is how will poverty be eradicated? The noise now is about crude oil, but we seem to have forgotten that one day the oil wells will dry up and we would be left with no other choice than go back to Agriculture, but why wait till then? This is why south- western Nigerian youths should rise up and exploit the various opportunities in this unexplored sector.
Agriculture has myriad fields which youth can tap into; animal husbandry which includes poultry, rabbitry, ruminant production, piggery, grass cutter production, and snailery. Crop production is another which could either be cash/plantation crops or arable crops production. Fish farming is another fast rising area of Agriculture with breeding and hatching, sales of fingerlings or juveniles, sales of fish feeds. Feed mill operation, horticulture, agricultural mechanization, sales of agricultural inputs like fertilizers, seeds, animal drugs, equipment like debeakers, drinkers and feeders, and sales of agricultural products are also not fully explored.
As youth it is high time we had a volte-face on how we see Agriculture. Until we see it as a noble and not an arduous one, we would never be able to see the many opportunities. Until we get involved and think of how we can bring about a healthy population through sustaining Agriculture, making use of the knowledge we have acquired from formal education, poverty can never be eradicated in Nigeria. Until we see the need to back to farm , the economy will keep declining.
The excuse of start-up funds should not come up because there are many organisations ready to support and empower youth interested in Agriculture. Today’s farmers is a Fadama user group in Iwo LGA Osun state, that is made up of youths, who came together and had their fish farm enterprise was funded by the Fadama project which is sponsored by World Health Organization. It would interest you to know that was started small has expanded that now they now practice animal husbandry in addition to fish farming. Also there are many entrepreneurship competitions for youth who are ready to think and it with action. An example is the Youwin competition organised for young entrepreneurs with feasible business ideas
The gimmick of being successful in the Agriculture sector is to start small with little capital, not despising the days of little beginnings and then gradually expand. It is pertinent to note that agricultural investments have a long pay-back period when compared with other businesses, but the eventual turn-over is worth the investment. It is also believed that Agriculture has a lot of risk involved in it, but the truth is no business is risk-free. Remember, the greatest risk is taking no risk at all.
Here comes the call to Nigerian youths, especially those in the south west to channel their youthful energy and involved in Agriculture and be among those who would proffer long lasting solutions to Nigeria’s problem of poverty. It is a call to leave the unemployment class and be an employer of labour thus reducing the unemployment rate. It is a call to practice Agriculture and help produce good food for the nation, and provide a life-friendly environment. I would conclude this piece with the words of Arthur Lewis which I started with ‘if

Agriculture remains stagnant, industry cannot grow’

. Therefore if Nigeria will live up to expectation as the giant of Africa, youths must be passionate about Agriculture.

Oladipupo Comfort is a final year student of the department of Animal Science, University of Ibadan.

Nigeria Agriculture: Past, present and Awaiting Revolution

Experience is a wonderful thing, it enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.

Agriculture is one of the most important sectors of the economies of developing countries of the world. The growth of this sector is, however, not in consonant with its strategic importance in the economies of various countries (Ogbonna, 2011). For example, in Nigeria, the growth of the agricultural sector has declined drastically since independence with the contribution of agriculture to the national economy dropping from 80% in the 1960s to a mere 34% in 2003 (Chigbu, 2005).
By and large the story get more worse, Nigeria as a country can’t boast of feeding it’s own inhabitant, a sorry case one may stress yet a reality. Nigeria Agriculture decline in product, produce and interest heightens daily, Nigerian youths are more preoccupied in fast means of capital/cash courtesy our nation’s sole priority interest in oil and gas neglecting other sector of the economy.
Gone are the days of agricultural exploits, success of groundnut pyramid in the North, Cocoa, kola-nut boom in the west, vast Rubber and cash crop plantation in the east, Arable plantation in the south. Time of much economic impact on citizens individual lives with substantial governance triumph, one but wonder what could go so wrong?
The present is filled with lots of disheartening stories although little success stories, policy and polity in-and-out with little or no impact on common masses, our government favors Top-bottom approach which benefit the rich and influential only, the poor and common man grip and fight over crumbles and leftover of the Rich!

It is not the cares of today, but the cares of tomorrow that weigh a man down. For the needs of today we have corresponding strength given. For the morrow we are told to trust. It is not ours yet.
Gorge MacDonald

Trust? A rare phrase in Nigeria context, we’ve been trusting our system of governance since independence, all we’ve got year-in-year-out is more heartbreak, inconsistent policy and polity to tackle poverty, unemployment and little or no social welfare. Our strength demeaning daily with vault of corruption expanding high!
Nigerian’s are programmed to shun Agriculture naturally, we besiege our kids and kin to study Medcine, Law, Pharmacy and Engineering rather than Agricultural related courses. We label agriculture with drudgery, intimidate Agricultural graduate in all available sphere yet our daily needs (Agricultural produce, product and byproduct) are essential, the question now arise “Where would we get our essential daily needs?” Gross importation or Gross development of our Agricultural sector? The choice is ours but we must be fast to acknowledge the gross impact on average Nigerian’s.

We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.
George Bernard Shaw

The awaiting revolution of Agriculture in Nigeria is imminent, our population keeps expanding, Agriculture landmass shrinks and little or no interest in production heightens! No need of soothsayer that change is relatively at hand, our government made it’s decision on Importation spectrum-clear yet our taste for foreign products yield less but stronger, we detest our local product and label them unauthentic/Fake product.
Our government tasks us with entrepreneurship to a population that regard it’s indigenous product Fake and unauthentic however we must not be derailed by this assertion but awaken to the fact of our dwindling economy and individual responsibilities to make our nation the pride of Africa once more, you and i need to actively involve in Agriculture.
Imagine loads of graduate screaming unemployment venturing into Agriculture,
Imagine a society that patronizes and appreciates it’s indigenous products,
Imagine Nigeria in this context . . .
A Yoruba adage I grow fond of states “Bii ebi ba Kuro ninu ise, ise bu se!” If hunger is out of poverty, poverty is null.

Resolution 2014, it’s time to look back!

It’s time of the year that individual drift quick to make list of wish and aspiration, time to dream of goodwill, finding spouse and settling down, good job opportunity with fat salary, more blessing, more money, good health and sort. . .
We entangle ourselves with fantasy on what the new year brings forth, turning blind eye to occurrence that shaped the just concluded year, we fail to seek the loop holes in our action that cascade or impede our success/downfall, we flourish of hope for better days yet we lack the tenacity to look back straight at the point of dismay, the foci that changed everything. . .
It’s new year again, 365 days to go. . . The question is to what end will 2014 bring? A unified state of the nation or a year of desperation, bloodshed, revolution or change we seek?
2013 started with a promising note, thanks to our government saving us the drama of subsidy removal but alas giving us much to ponder with series of corruption cases yet attended to! (Pension fund, #Stellagate et.c).
Lots of drama was witnessed that will either change our nation for good or keep the masses at bay till eternity, APC moves to persuade PDP member’s, defection of G5 Governors, Cross-carpet of Legislators et.c but the question still looms – To what effect has all these drama change the life of common Nigerians?
So please dear reader in your list of resolution sincerely look deep at the chance you have to make Nigeria a better place and work towards it, look back at the opportunity you had to be a better countryman and make amends, dream nice of pleasant things but be fast to recall insurgence attacked families, they too have a right to life just as you do!
So pick up your pen, make list of means to better the lots of your immediate environment, everything is not about money (cash), kind and services are key to make a working system!
Learn to give out to less privileged,
Take it as responsibility to maintain and take care of government properties,
Encourage entrepreneurship in your locality,
Patronize local product and industry,
Pay your tax regularly,
Dissuade bribery and corruption,
Report cases of corruption to appropriate quarter’s.
It’s time we start to act & dream less to ensure a better Nigeria. Happy New year Nigeria.

“I think there is something, more important than believing: Action! The world is full of dreamers, there aren’t enough who will move ahead and begin to take concrete steps to actualize their vision.” W Clement Stone

OPINION : EFFECTS OF THE OVERUSE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

When it comes to the use of Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Keek, kik, BBM et.c, most of us will readily agree that it has been overused. Where this agreement usually ends, however, is the question of individual perspective. Whereas, some are convinced that Social Media have been overused, others maintain that it is just serving the purpose for which it was created. In sum then, the issue is whether Social media have been overused or not.
My own view is that Social Media have been overused. Though I concede that it is only serving the purpose for which it was created, I still maintain that people are abusing its use. For example, a lot of people devote more of their time to Social media. We open our page almost every fifteen to twenty minutes. I agree that people overuse social media because my personal experience confirms it. Bit Rebel, an online geek, technology design and social media news guide in their article, The Effect of Social media Addiction (Info graphics) agrees with this fact when they wrote “the mental fix from Social media seem to interest us more”. I agree with this assertion because we feel a need to access our profile and therefore we leave our Facebook, Twitter et.c open while reading.
However, some might argue that Social media brings out positive effects on teens as it helps students gain more knowledge because they can share information about issues that happened or is happening whether in their country or overseas, I would object because these students spends the time they should devote to their study on Social media. However, a new research shows that a lot of teenagers spend more time on Social media than studying. Anyone familiar with Social media should see that almost every minute, people, especially teenagers, post a picture or status.
Although I agree that social media gives shy children a way of socializing as Nery Nunez as pointed out in her essay, The Impact of Social media Overuse on Teens, I still insists that it generates unnecessary exposure and popularity. Athima Chansanchai in her article, Being Popular on Social media is Stressful, argued that “the more friends you have, the more likely you are stressed out”. This argument I endorse because the more friends we have, the more we feel obliged to satisfy them, thereby making us spend more time posting pictures, videos and statuses.
My point is not that we should avoid social media completely, but that we should limit the time we spend using it and create some valuable time for other meaningful things, especially studying. While it is true that Social media allows us to develop our identity because we choose our profile picture, list our likes and dislikes, it does not necessarily mean that we have not given more than enough information needed.
Others of course, may want to dispute my claims that Facebook have been overused but according to Dr. Larry Rosen, a professor of Psychology at the California State University, in his article titled Facebook Overuse can Lead to Psychological Disorders in Youths, also asserts that “daily use of media and technology has a negative effect on the health of children, preteens and teenagers by making them more prone to anxiety, depression and other psychological disorders as well as making them more susceptible to future problems”. Basically, Dr. Larry Rosen is saying that if we use the media and the technology every day, it can have a bad effect on our overall health. I concur with this claim because anything we use or do on a daily basis may eventually turn into an addiction which we later tend to overuse.
In short, Social media have been overused and it has a negative effect on our overall wellbeing and majorly studies. In view of this therefore, we should try to limit the amount of time we spend on Social media and dedicate it to other meaningful things in our life most especially studies.

Olalere Sidiqat
@dollypatro

Maniacs

Worry lace their mind
Brisk with furry of appearance
concerned on facial antics…
Too dark, too straight
Small butt, big/small boobs…
So on and forth they ponder,
Whisk to bleaching, cosmetic surgery et.al
Foggy thy look
Laced with sprains of green veins,
Coat of many colors (light skin face, petty dark knuckles, toes & fingers)
Saggy boobs
Deflated body fat…..
Beauty of past
Sexy of yesterday
Horror of today
Monster of tomorrow.