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Nigeria: Recession – More urban dwellers turn to farming

Until recently, the elite have relegated farming to the peasants mostly in rural areas, but the trend has changed as the high and mighty are now taking over farming, not just for subsistence, but for commerce.

By Ibraheem Hamza Muhammad
Daily Trust
Dec 31 2016

Excerpt:

Many high-ranking retired and serving government officials, military personnel, politicians, legislatures among others are into farming within cities. Some of the farms are around the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and situated between Baran-Gwani village along Bwari-Jere road where they mostly engage in fish and livestock farming. The owners have staff quarters, have the place fenced, security lighting systems and (some) even have Close Circuit Television Cameras (CCTV) that enable them monitor their farms from the comfort of their homes or even from any location around the world via internet wireless facilities.

A former minister who preferred anonymity said, “I grew up farming in the village and even in boarding school, but snubbed farming when I gained admission into the university. But when we went abroad, we realized that the rich people are the farmers. That is why when I came back to Nigeria, I bought a farm and went into full-time farming. I have rest of mind when I plant crops and see them growing. I make money from the produce, the stems, the livestock and even the manure. Everything is money in a modern farm.”

However, the first farm that Daily Trust observed that had a CCTV monitor is the one near the Kaduna International Airport. The cameras were installed at the peak of cases of cattle rustling where some of the rustlers were fully armed.

A farmer, Ibrahim Abdullahi (Kazaure) said he went back to farming because of the high cost of living, for the fact that he is a bread winner with a lot of responsibilities and for self-reliance. “I farm both for subsistence and commerce. I want to expand because farmers make huge profits in this season,” he noted. He called on the government to make adequate supply of agricultural inputs and equipment at subsidized rates, introduce farm management training Programmes, interest free loans to reduce poverty and rural-urban migration.

Read the complete article here.