By; PAMELA EBOH Awka
With Nigeria’s economy sifting to severe hardship and hunger as a result of the CoronaVirus pandemic, some journalists in Anambra State are resorting to farming to make ends meet.
Leading the pack is Agulu, Anaocha Local Government Area of the state born Tony Okafor, Punch correspondent, followed by Chimezie Patrick an Awka based journalist and Tochukwu Ifejika, Voice of Nigeria (VON).
While Okafor, a veteran journalist, TC 2 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 birds, turkey and selling same.
So far, Okafor who cultivates cassava, water melon, corn, local pear, cucumber, vegetables, among others is beginning to earn from getting his hands and clothes dirty.
His words, “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.
While contributing to a statement on the amount of money a family of five spends on breakfast alone, the TC2 teacher cum lawyer 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, moreso 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 the sales helps the family afloat.
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 marture 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 Chimezie, “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 past times.
The University of Benin graduate of Economics said that with the looming scarcity of food and increasing cost of food stuff, 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.