MAKING AGRICULTURE MORE ENTERTAINING

Is Agriculture tedious and hectic? I believe we all know the answer to that rhetorical question. Is it entertaining? That is not a matter to argue about but it is worthy to be discussed. We all know that most jobs in life are tedious and hectic, yet agricultural practice is the most tedious occupation anyone can venture into not because of the accompanying difficulties alone but also because there are not enough recreational activities involved. Before we go into this, the story needs to be told about what led to the neglect of the sector from the beginning.

Agriculture used to be the major sector in Nigeria before crude oil was first discovered in the 1950’s and Nigeria Government got dependent on the oil industry and in the 70’s when crude oil price rose to about $40 per barrel and stretched into the 80’s. The government started building a lot of infrastructures in the major cities prompting more people to leave the difficult rural lives in search of greener pastures. Agriculture was almost abandoned and this led to underdevelopment and lower growth in the sector. This phase of progress was short-lived because the price of crude oil fell drastically to about $20 per barrel. The government didn’t make the transition easy because most of the project it embarked upon during the time of the short boom were liabilities and not assets. Having experienced the ease and finesse the other sectors offer when it comes to making money, most of the working population refuse to go back to the more accommodating and less competitive agricultural sector. The rest is history.

With the rate at which the country’s population is growing and the forecasts about the world’s population ranking by 2050, all efforts should be in place to ensure we don’t go hungry in the coming years. Standard measures need to be taken and no stone needs to be left unturned. All though the government is trying its best to save the day and also the future but the general belief is there is more to be done.

What if there is a synergy between the Entertainment and the Agriculture industry? Entertainment is essential to human existence, it gives us the sense of enjoyment, recreation, relaxation, fulfilment and conviction that life is good. The Entertainment industry is a vital piece of Nigeria’s economic puzzle; it is worth billions of dollars. One of these two aforementioned industries has evolved and it is self-sustaining, it is very modern and dynamic. I believe in order to make farming and agricultural practises look and seem less hectic, we need to infuse more entertainment into it. This will also get more youths to be involved directly and indirectly. There is more to agriculture than farming. A list of various of agricultural value-chains will be unlocked if sub-sectors of entertainment like dance, comedy, music, film, theatre and so many more are infused into Agriculture. It will lead to youth development and empowerment giving chances to youths who are unable to exploit their full potentials.

Some people may want to argue the point made in the last paragraph about the jobs already being done to amalgamate the two sectors. Well not until I see an A-list entertainer like Davido, Timi Dakolo, Bovi, Ayo Makun, OC Ukeje, Adesua Etomi, Odunlade Adekola and the likes appear at Agricultural events like Agra-innovate West Africa, Nigerian Poultry and livestock expo (NIPOLI), Feed Africa Agric Expo, etc.  We need to learn and inculcate new progressive ways to do things if we really want positive changes, for example the Agro-food 2019 scheduled to hold later this year in Sri-Lanka has social gathering on its menu which includes cultural dinner.

We have to prepare for the future, we have to be more pro-active when it comes to developing the Agricultural sector. Nigeria as a country need to produce what it consumes and in order to be able to achieve this, we need to encourage more people to participate in Agriculture by making it more entertaining. We can develop the rural areas and make it more accommodating to not only the youths but also all the dwellers. We can reduce the numbers of people migrating from the rural areas to urban areas in search of more competitive jobs.

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