Farming Becomes Big Business In Recession
In the second quarter of 2016 Nigeria’s economy officially slipped into recession, a situation that has been waiting to happen long before that time.
After the National Bureau of Statistics published its report, dollar exchange rate rose, since citizens of the oil-rich nation depended largely on imported goods.
Many expected that the rise would stop but it continued, since there was very little on ground to back the Naira’s strength.
The multiplier effect of the weakness of the Naira after few months started reflecting on the price of commodities that are produced in Nigeria.
Things got worse. For instance, the price of a bucket of 'garri', one commodity you are likely to find in all Nigerian homes, rose from 480 Naira to over 800 Naira and people began to adjust their belts, giving huge consideration to their daily eating pattern.
Diligent prudence set in.
While the recession persists, Nigerians gradually started falling in love with locally produced commodities and despite the high cost of garri, it has become impossible to avoid eating it.
Engage In Farming
In Enugu, in southeast Nigeria, people began reasoning. They were forced by lack and hunger.
Many residents, particularly those living on the outskirts of the 'coal' city, embarked on cassava farming. Fallow plots of land gained attention, as residents began to clear them for cassava farming.
They have been compelled to look for pragmatic ways of sustaining their families.
A teacher, Mr Edwin Mba, underscored the need for the citizens to engage in farming and produce some of the foods they consumed, adding that cassava remained the easiest and most reliable crop to cultivate in Nigeria.
"We must all get back to the farm in order to sustain our individual families or else, our children will all die of hunger,’’ he said.
A resident, Ijeoma Ugwu, said that she could no longer afford to buy “garri” in large quantity because its price has risen from 700 Naira to 1,200 Naira per “paint rubber’’.
She, however, expressed the optimism that the situation would be better in 2018 since she had embarked on cassava farming.
“I think the current high cost of `garri’ has taught me some hard lessons.
“I believe that next year will be much better because I am going to harvest cassava tubers for my family’s consumption and for sales,’’ she said.
A youth corps member, Mr Jude Onoja, told the News Agency of Nigeria that he had already cleared four plots of land in his village in Benue, in preparation for cassava farming.
He said that if he was able to generate enough income from cassava farming, there would not be any need for him to look for a salaried job.
Besides, Mrs Ugochi Ibe, a civil servant, said that she had already sent some money to her relations in her village to help her to plant some crops.
Ibe expressed hope that whenever the farm started producing cassava, her spending on “garri” would consequently cease.
All the same, Mr Elochukwu Eze, a cassava farmer, blamed the high price of “garri” on the current decline in cassava production.
He, nonetheless, expressed the hope that with the increase in the number of people going into cassava farming, there would be adequate supply of “garri” and other cassava-based foodstuff in the markets soon.
Agriculture any time any day is a money spinner for persons that are willing to go into it, but if you cannot engage in farming at this time, you can go further into processing agricultural produce. Garri for instance is more expensive than raw tubers of cassava.
Few months ago, there were stories of imported garri from India and that alone shows how high the demand for the staple food is.
Will just sit around and complain or will you begin to reason how you can make money even at time of recession like this?