In the early 1950 and then to the dark age and the Renaissance period, Nigeria solely and majorly depended on agriculture. When if you dont farm you don’t eat, it’s as simple as that. In the SOUTH-WEST or the Western region as they call it in those days the farmers tagged themselves ‘the agbelobas’ meaning “THE FARMER IS A KING”. With that notation it encouraged everyone even both in diaspora resented to farming not today when you travel to your village for holiday all the youths in this 21st century have all turned Keke Napep(maruwa) drivers and Okada riders no one wants to venture into farming no more.
That refreshed my memory back when the famous ‘COCOA HOUSE’ was completed in 1965 at a height of 105 metres, was once the tallest building in Tropical Africa. Although tropical Africa is mostly familiar to the West for its rainforests this ecozone of Africa is far more diverse. While the tropics are thought of as regions with warm to hot moist climates caused by latitude and the tropical rain belt, the geology of areas, particularly mountain chains, and geographical relation to continental and regional scale winds impact the overall parts of areas also, making the tropics run from arid to humid in West Africa. The area has very serious overpopulation problems.
Udo (1982) and Binns (1994) were in agreement on the definition of Tropical Africa: any country that fell on the Tropic of Cancer was included in the African Tropics while only South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland were deemed to be extra-Tropical in the south. The ‘cocoa house’ is located in the city of Ibadan in Oyo state Nigeria, and it was built from proceeds from commodities like Cocoa, as the name of the building was denoted also ‘Rubber’, ‘Timber’, and other crops that were so valuable that could build such building project so you know how lucrative agricultural business was back then, not until later when crude oil was discovered and it is fully dependent on by the Federal government till date.
Cocoa for example cost a couple of dollars when dollar didn’t oppress our naira and when we knew what we were doing in Nigeria until greed replaced asparaginely the blood that runs in an average Nigerian vein. They did not take the reaction that takes place between theses and antithesis and the result which is synthesis or new ideas very seriously until greed took total control over the then leaders just because of the discovery of crude oil.
Food crops, cash crops, I mean food generally essential is expensive to buy in a country like Nigeria when the benevolent God has blessed us with vast land to utilize judiciously well to do farming but hitherto on the contrary the nation’s target area is now the Northern part of Nigeria, the north is a very dry land and the crops grown there springs up with the aid of organic fertilizer being imported from China or some other Asian country to grow those food we consume. Does it mean the ‘Agbelobas’ in the South-West have all retired from farming? I need a substantive clarifications on the asked question. My point is in other parts of Nigeria they still go on about with their farming activities but there is no form of encouragement whatsoever like the North receives the total support from the likes of Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture, African Development Bank, Central Bank of Nigeria e.t.c and also from Federal agencies.
There is a staunch hunger in Nigeria and the poverty rate increases on the highest maximum level, if those loans worth millions of dollars are extended to the South-West which was a major contributor to the country’s GDP and the nation’s agriculture powerhouse in the past cannot get even CBN’s support on a substantial agricultural project. It’s highly pathetically sad when all the resources is being channeled to the North on agriculture. I represent the South-West, we are not lazy to farm, if I personally get a corporeal agricultural loan support from any Federal affiliated agency I can assure on my life that food will be excessive in total circulation around the federation that it will be useless just because of it’s surplusness and can also be exported to generate more revenues. Is also the government divisive? Are they happy with the food price hike without the food security? I got a trillion question on my mind to ask the past leaders and the current leaders in various positions.
Mike-Nifty AYODEJI is an Economist, a public affairs analyst and a composer and can be reached via email@example.com