By Nick Chibunna
A lecturer in the faculty of agriculture and veterinary medicine in the Imo state university (IMSU), Owerri, has faulted the present “Back-to Land” directive of the Imo state government to the state civil servants, describing it as unattainable.
The don, who spoke to Christian Voice on the condition of anonymity, however, advocated for an agric reform that is tailored toward mechanized farming if the proponents of the directive are serious.
The erudite scholar, who wondered how somebody can wake up and decree with a fiat that civil servants should proceed to farming with two-work-free-days is unconvincing.
He described the civil service as the hub of any government, adding that any attempt to enterprise with the system is bound to trigger serious consequences.
He queried, “how can civil servants who have not been paid for months embark on farming, with what resources and implements?”
The don who said that the days of subsistence farming are crumbling fast has advised those who advise government at various levels to be proactive and articulate.
He took a trip down memory lane during the first republic when agriculture was the mainstay of the economy; with the South East producing enough palm produce for export, South West, cocoa production, mid west, timber and northern region groundnut, cotton and iron, adding that the system was then mechanized, hence, increased production.
He advised the present Imo State government to go back to the old “Farm settlements” as there are still hectares of uncultivated arable land in the state.
According to him, government can achieve this by acquiring large hectres of land, with compensation paid the owners, and engage agriculture experts with tractors and havesters for real agricultural revolution.
He said that government can also give low interest loans to real farmers to enable them embark on agricultural venture, instead of a hollow command to embark on farming without incentives, adding that government should realize that not everybody is a farmer, as some are career servants.
He wondered if government is aware of billions of financial and human resources that would be lost if it goes ahead with the two-green working days directive or proposal.