The Nigerian press liked my message to farmers in the National Stadium Surulere on Thursday. I had keynoted a major agriculture gathering, Convergence.
I have challenged our farmers to do away with norms and dogmas and become businesspeople. It was a very powerful message that technically pushed many out of their comfort zones.
You cannot kill a goat for your ancestors to make you rich, through better harvest, as you plant your yam, even when many of them died poor doing what you are doing today. While we celebrate our heritage, it is instructive to note that fallow periods have been halved because of population. So, what worked in the past is largely irrelevant because farms are lesser fertile.
I told our farmers that it remains shameful to expect government to feed us with food supplies when we are FARMERS. Yes, we cannot afford community of farmers going hungry! It must stop in this nation.
Over the last 72 hours, all the major newspapers in Nigeria have carried that message (Guardian, Punch, ThisDay, Nation, etc) with snippets on their digital versions. And the responses have been positive as farmers reached out and appreciated the insights. Yes, my goal was to give many a new purpose to return to farms.
Farming is a business; it is not a cultural way of living which must be done without profit and loss. You need to innovate to drive productivity. Embrace technology and thrive for Nigeria. Time for hungry farmers must end!
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