Youth Empowerment Through Rice Farming in nigeria
Rice has become a major food being consumed by majority of the world population. No one considers it’s market value when there is a need for it’s consumption.
In this blog post i will tell you about the youth empower through rice farming in nigeria
In Okpanku, a town in Aninri local government area of Enugu State, Nigeria, rice farming is generally practiced by every individual members of the town. One factor that encourages this is the fact that most of the lands are in swampy areas.
Since the youths are the leaders of tomorrow, the youth of Okpanku are fully involved in empowering themselves through rice farming. It is obvious that capital is a major setback in farming, rice farming becomes less expensive when the you are involved.
Simplifying Rice farming through Youth involvement
Depending on the breed of rice the cultivation starts on June, July or August. This could be as a result of the fact that some of the breeds take three, four or five months to mature.
It starts with clearing of the farm or spraying of herbicide on the land to ensure that there is no weeds on the swamp. Some will broadcast the rice few weeks after spraying the chemicals while some will turn the soil before broadcasting. Remember that as a youth, you spray the chemical by yourself without paying anyone. After this it will be followed by a three weeks gap before the broadcasting of the rice, prior to the broadcasting the rice will be mixed with some chemicals to avoid being attacked by some pests like birds, rats, snakes and others. The three weeks between the spraying of herbicide and broadcasting is to ensure that the weed in the farm decayed and ready to serve as manure. This will be followed by a space of one month from the day of broadcasting the rice before spraying another herbicide (selective). This will eliminate the weeds leaving the rice. Within three months of spraying the selective the rice will start developing it’s seeds and must be protected from pests till it is due for harvest. After harvesting it will be stored in a cool dry place.
A succinct observation of the steps above shows that rice farming is capital intensive and this is where the youth of Okpanku take advantage because the can do all the work without calling for a single labour. The process of harvesting is not left behind because it requires thretching which requires strength. So for a youth that cultivated rice in about twenty plots of land, he can only spend a maximum of twenty thousand naira only and the good side of the whole thing is that the vast swampy lands in Okpanku are too fertile for rice cultivation.
In Okpanku the traditional market days come up once in every four days during which rice buyers from Enugu urban, Onitsha, Umuahia and other neighbouring towns come to buy rice even in other days that fail outside the traditional market days. Due to the ever increasing demand for rice, Okpanku is the best place to get quality rice in any period of the year and the consequent increase in demand for rice results to increase in the price. It is sold either per bag or bushel.
The interest of our youth in rice farming have made them to be financially stable to face any life challenge that requires money. Now, an organizations set up by youths in Okpanku who are into rice farming are working towards mechanizing the process of rice farming and attracting foreign buyers.
At this point, the challenge of mechanizing rice farming in Okpanku has been how to raise enough funds to acquire all the machines required for the process and this virgin fight towards achieving attaining a global recognition should not be left for Okpanku youths alone as the government, individuals, companies and other investors need to come in and make Okpanku to become the home for rice production. By doing this, it will be a big relief to the government and trhe general public as a whole because the rate at which our youth saturate our labour markets will be drastically reduced and even other neighbouring countries will abolish the idea of importing rice from Europe, Asia and others and come to our country to buy a more quality rice. This will remarkably encourage other commercial activities thereby bringing a total stop to arm rubbery, raping, kidnapping and other social vices.
SUMMARY : Rice farming is a very lucrative business if fellowed and managed very well especially here in Nigeria.