By Racheal Okporu
In recent times agriculture has been regarded as the most viable route with which Nigeria can successfully drift from her current economic down turn.
The Unikky Women in Farming (UWIF) Lagos chapter in conjunction with blackface media recently organized an agricultural empowerment program for women in farming. The programme was aimed at enlightening and giving financial assistance to women in farming.
Speaking at the event, Mrs oranusi a resource personnel, emphasized the importance of agriculture as prior to the discovery of oil, agriculture was the mainstay of the economy and Nigeria was largely self sufficient in food production.
However, the loss of passion and discovery of oil turned the focus of the country, resulting in food importation instead of local production.
According to the secretary of the All farmers Association Lagos chapter Mrs. Francis, Nigeria have over 80percent of its land tillable but has cultivated less than 40 percent despite the country’s teaming population and level of unemployment. She therefore emphasized on the need to inculcate agriculture into the younger generation to alleviate poverty and unemployment.
The chairman board of director of Hydroponic farms limited, Philips okpara said that in the bid to get everyone involved in agriculture, the hydroponic system of farming has been introduced. He made it known that climate and season is no longer a limitation to agriculture as humans can now grow all kinds if plant within any period of the year.
He further stated that the hydroponic system of farming is as old as man, but many have lived with the misconception that the soil is the only means through which plants to grows whereas soil is actually a holding medium for plants.
According to Philips okpara, with the globalization of the world, there is need to add technological advancement in all we do and the farming system should not be exempted. Adding that in the hydroponic farming system, nutrients are extracted from the soil and water is used as the holding medium to provide nutrients for the plants.
As flexible as this farming system may be, Philips okpara also stated that the limitations to farming without soil, is imagination and cost. However the cost of the farming system varies as it depends on individual’s choice and size, as it can be done as a subsistence or commercial farming.
It would be recalled that 2years ago Nigeria suffered from loss of crops due to an epidemic disease that affected tomato making an average Nigeria unable not afford it. This was able to occur because tomato cultivation in Nigeria is done in an uncontrolled environment otherwise known as the traditional system of farming but the hydroponic system of farming is done in a controlled environment (green house) void of diseases, which can retard the growth of the plant while in the soil system, plants are prone to diseases.
The resource persons advised that agriculture would go a long way to savage the people in the times of economic recession.