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Nigerians should embrace farming – Afe Babalola

Elder statesman, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) says every Nigerian citizen should embrace farming, irrespective of profession or status.

Babalola said this on Sunday in Ado-Ekiti, adding that embracing farming is the panacea for the country to make a meaningful impact in evolving alternative economic reliance.

The legal luminary, spoke at the closing ceremony of the 2022 edition of the Annual “Afe Babalola Agricultural Expo”, (ABA-EX) and Youth Development.

The founder of Afe Babalola University Ado-Ekiti, (ABUAD), said he developed an interest in farming while in primary school and had never looked back.

Babalola said that he introduced the initiative to return the sector to its rightful place, adding that farming remains one of the best solutions to the country’s myriads of problems.

“These problems include unemployment, poor revenue earnings among others.’’

“I got myself involved in all-around agriculture from the days of my youths because I have an undying belief in it as a solution to problems, especially hunger.

“I was born as a farmer, and it is not surprising that I continue to farm today despite all that God has enabled me to attain.

“That is what I expect all Nigerians to do, no matter what you are, or who you are. You just have to be involved in farming.

“If we all do, you can then imagine how many farmlands we would have had by now.

“Every family wants to be great, yet we are not involved in agriculture. We live in a nation where we produce less and consume more.

“Things don’t work like that, except we are waiting for calamity to happen, we are already in the calamity,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a total of 81 best-performing farmers, made up of five farmers in each of the 16 local government areas of Ekiti, were awarded cash gifts by Babalola.

This, he said was part of his annual contribution towards promoting the sector.

The best farmer from each LGA got a cash sum of N200,000, second, N150,000, third, N100,000, fourth, N75,000, and fifth, N50,000.

The overall best farmer across the state got the star prize of a cash sum of N2 million among other things.

There was also the provision of farm kits for several jobless youths under the Afe Babalola Empowerment Programme totaling N34 million.

NAN also reports that the youth empowerment angle of the annual awards saw the unemployed youths also going home with free smoking clean equipment for smoking fish.

Mr. Aladejana Ilesanmi, the overall best farmer in the state, who won the N2 million-star prize, thanked Babalola for his philanthropic activities.

He said he worked extra hard on his various farm sites, covering about 30 hectares of land to emerge the best.

Ilesanmi, who is in his 60s, enjoined both the young and old to complement Babalola’s kind gestures by embracing farming