The reluctant farmer

Farming the old fashion way

A few years ago, I read an article about intellectual Africans who spend a lot of their time complaining about things that are wrong in their countries, especially the ones who live outside of their home countries, but do nothing to help the majority of their fellow Africans. The article hit a cord, I was definitely one of the complainants, if not one of the intellectuals. At that moment, I decided less complains and more actions.

I started by challenging my friends and family members to help with the huge problems we face in Nigeria, but some of them complained about the problems they faced in buying houses so that when they return home on their visits, they are not inconveniencing others, but they struggle to buy land and then try to build their own houses and are afraid of rogue developers. I will not ask anyone to do something that I have not done myself, so I bought a house in an estate in Lagos, then the challenges of electricity, hence I installed a solar system because I wanted to prove that it is possible to live without the almighty NEPA, unfortunately that plan only lasted a couple of months, the solar system does not work well during the dull raining season, so alas I need NEPA after all, the little buggers always get you, so despite the fact that I have never been a customer of NEPA, I had an outstanding bill of #60,000, but at least I have a prepaid or pay as you go electricity meter.

One thing is certain for those planning to return home, the challenges are huge. The number of times that I have been stopped by the police, customs and Vehicle inspectors, well, every time I ventured outside of Lagos with a driver in my truck. There was a particular day that it was so sad, I rang my mother to say enough was enough and I was ready to pack the whole project in. She asked me to hand over the phone to the offending police officer and I can assure you she did not pray for the officer who quickly handed over the phone to me and asked me to continue on my journey.

Normally, I refuse to offer bribes, hence I carry every paperwork with me, but a few weeks ago, I did not carry the custom clearance paper for the truck ( I didn’t even know there was a document since I bought my truck in Nigeria), I managed to get the seller of the car on the phone, but alas after 2 hours of delay by the side of the road I was exhausted, hot, hungry and off my trolley. I spoke to the officer in charge and it became obvious he was not on the road to check for my particulars, as a matter of fact, I am sure he knew I had the paperwork, but he was fighting to feed his family like anyone else. Governments in Nigeria cannot get rid of corruption unless they pay their workers. I can assure you that if I have not been paid a salary for 11 months and I have children at home to feed, who knows what I will do.

Now to the real issue, I started a farm a couple of years ago, we planted palm trees, these little buggers take time, hence we also planted some plantains and bananas. When plantains and bananas grow we will need to harvest the fruits and then cut down the stems. So we are trying to make use of the waste

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