The ‘farm’ definitely crosses our mind when we talk about Agriculture. And as a student of Agricultural Technology schooling in Yabatech, the farm is to me what a barrack is to a soldier. For us, it is cutlasses over guns, driving tractors instead of armored vehicles, broadcasting seeds rather than grenades and what not. Although farmers and soldiers share something in common, and that is ‘discipline’.
Initially, I wasn’t a fan of waking up as early as 6am on Monday and Wednesday mornings for Farm Practice. “Not again, I don’t want to get all sweaty, covered with dirt” – that used to be the most common phrase in my soliloquies. I likened my supervisors to prison warders. They struck me as slave drivers holding imaginary whips. I felt like a Negro working on a plantation.
Well, today my perception about working on the farm has changed. I now see it as a privilege to feed my nation. However, it is still a tedious yet noble profession. It is said that with great power comes great responsibility. Agriculture is the mother of nutrition and good health. It is the pinnacle of most agro-allied and non agro-allied occupations existing today. Without establishing certain trees and plants, medicinal herbs, cotton and timber cannot be produced. Pharmaceutical industries benefit from Agriculture. Entrepreneurs, Civil Engineers, Textile and Furniture Industries also acknowledge that the importance of Agriculture to mankind cannot be over emphasized. .
The former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, whom was once a cadet in my school, own one of the biggest farms in the country. While most of his colleagues are busy chasing oil money, he dared to be different by investing in one sector that have been underrated over the years. As an aspiring entrepreneur in that field (i.e. Agriculture), OBJ is my role model. I wish I would have worked at his farm during my SIWES programme later this year. I am yearning to discover the secret behind his success story. Anyway, since no man has monopoly of knowledge, I believe I will still learn a lot from the poultry and catfish farm in Lekki where I have been placed.
“What a man can do, a woman can do better” – that is probably one of a lady’s favorite pickup lines whenever she is having a heated debate or conversation with the opposite sex. During farm practice, female students somewhat shun that line. Rather, you will hear them saying stuff like “Please who will be my farm boyfriend?” (laughs). Apart from seed bed preparation, bush clearing and transplanting, ladies perform lighter tasks such as feeding livestock, cleaning the piggery, rabbitry and goat pen, while male students engage in more strenuous jobs such as cutting bamboo trees, construction of farm structures et al. Once upon a time, all the aforementioned were alien to me, now it is like a culture. It took me a while to adapt. By the way, some of you might be wondering how I manage to juggle school with music. That is a story for another day.