Posted by News Express | 8 July 2020 | 653 times
By PAMELA EBOH, Awka
With the Nigerian economy in deeper trouble as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, some journalists in Anambra State are beginning to resort to farming as an additional source of income.
Leading the pack is The PUNCH Correspondent Tony Okafor, followed by Patrick Anaso of the News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) and Tochukwu Ifejika of Voice of Nigeria (VON).
While Okafor, a veteran journalist, teacher and lawyer, is neck-deep into the business of cultivating land, raising stock and making good harvest, Ifejika is making a brisk business in raising chicken and turkey.
Okafor, who cultivates cassava, water melon, corn, local pear, cucumber and vegetables, among others, is beginning to earn from getting his hands and clothes dirty.
He said: “I love farming. The joy that comes with it is seeing what you planted grow and be harvested. At the moment, what I harvest from my farm is more than what my family consumes, so I sell off those not needed at Agulu market.”
Making a rough calculation of how a family of five spends on breakfast alone, Okafor said: “If you add sweet potatoes to your family menu, especially for breakfast, per meal for a member of your family, it may come down to N150 or even N100 if you don’t use eggs to garnish it.
“There are many ways to kill a rat. Again, abacha (tapioca) as lunch can help, too. It’s cheap, more so if you are producing the cassava.”
On her part, Ifejika said that apart from the joy of nurturing and watching the birds grow, the money made from sales helps the family a lot.
She added: “Since I started, I have never gone to the market to buy chicken. I simply go to my farm and pick one, once they are grown and mature for eating. It is a delight watching it grow and become so big. The way they run up to you when you come to clean or feed them, it’s amazing.
“These days, salary is not enough; hence one got to look for a way to make extra money to help the family.”
For Anaso, “Farming is and should be a way of life for us because it helps us to meet the basic needs of life which is food.
“Agriculture serves among other things the purpose of employment, food production, means of earning income, production of primary products needed in some manufacturing processes.”
He said that as workers it is a healthy way to spend time.
The University of Benin graduate of Economics said that with the looming scarcity of food and increasing cost of foodstuff, families can help reduce the shortage in supply by producing some items for their own use and also save part of income they should have spent on food.
“Farming gives some sense of satisfaction, it is joyful to harvest a mature produce from one’s farm no matter how small the scale of farming is,” he added.
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