Re-creating life: Agriculture and Me

I have never been agriculturally inclined, and as far back as I can remember, that attitude had been backed by the low-toned mindset that anything agriculture, basically, was nothing more than farm work; dirty clothes, profuse sweating, aching joints, and all the sorts.

I basically grew up in an era of suburban backyard gardens, so the closest that I ever came to farm work, growing up, was playfully uprooting miniature weeds for fun with some of my friends on my father’s tomato garden in our backyard. But my father, he was different; he loved the farm work and its perks. It was not until I was a few years older that I eventually got to know that aside the backyard garden, he also owned a plot of farm land of his own. Somehow, in his own subtle way, my father saw a beauty in agriculture that I just couldn’t see at that time.

And it is probably this same beauty that I often see when I pass by an old sweat and dirt-roughened farmer on his bicycle. Nothing matters when it comes to agriculture for these kinds of people even if it is only one form of agriculture that they are exposed to –farming; they honestly don’t care. If we would put sentimentality aside, it really is unfortunate that some of us, supposedly of the new age, often see such folks as unfortunate, when in reality, it is we who are.

Without mincing words, Nigeria is the most blessed country in the whole world, and I say that with all the sentimentality and ego that the high melanin level in me can muster. However, without sentimentality this time, it is quite churning to see how under-used the irrefutable power of agriculture is in Nigeria. And contrary to what raves on the airways of new stations and all the sorts, the problem is not bad policy, or bad government, but rather it is an acute blindness on the path of over a quarter of the entire populace to see the truth. We have gone completely blind to the incredible resource mine that is agriculture, and it’s sad.

I must admit, looking back now, there is indeed a beauty that comes with agriculture. I remember my first ever corn-sprout; and the way in which my heart raced in excitement when I discovered that just by digging a shallow hole in the soil and putting a corn seed inside it, I was able to some worth re-create a life form. It was amazing. And in all honesty, that is what agriculture is all about: re-creating life; keeping life as we know it in its blossoming cycle of abundance.