One of the major actions of the “Vision of Hope” organisation’s project seems to be the creation of the first set of agricultural villages. Agriculture is its prime objective and emphasis is placed on enhancing the value of agricultural land in Nigeria.
It is well known that President Goodluck Jonathan is concerned about modernising agriculture. Moreover, this programme which falls within the framework of territorial development, seeks to restore life to the villages. Like many other developing nations around the world, Nigeria has a major problem with urban migration and is facing a herculean task in attracting more and more inhabitants to the villages. The cities are becoming over populated while the villages are being depopulated. This rural exodus is responsible for the expansion of shanty towns, increased unemployment rate, crime, insecurity and epidemics. No doubt, industrialisation and modernisation of urban areas at the expense of rural areas contributes significantly to this reality. Rural dwellers live under the illusion that the cities offer a better life. However, a look at the cost of rent in Abuja is enough to appreciate the tribulation that lies in wait for rural dwellers wishing to relocate to the city.
The Federal Republic of Nigeria is endowed with vast areas of fertile land where all or nearly everything grows, thanks to a balanced climate.
The short dry season followed by a long rainy season, offers the ideal opportunity for developing agriculture to the level of food self-sufficiency for Nigeria and for supporting a policy of exporting agricultural products. This is why the government started what it calls an agricultural revolution.
At the same time, the agricultural sector is aspiring to reduce its dependency on the importation of essential commodities.
We can see that the creation of agricultural villages would be an exceptional success story, if its objectives are attained. Nigeria will be modernised profoundly. In addition, local government administration will have to be reorganised, schools built for children in all rural communities, ultra-modern health centres constructed, road, port and airport infrastructure developed in the most remote parts of Nigeria in order to facilitate the creation of production units.
These efforts undertaken by the Nigerian government are very promising and driven by the enlightened leadership of President Goodluck Jonathan, whose desire is to offer Nigerians of the hinterlands the social welfare they need wherever they wish to live. What is more, it seeks to enable every Nigerian to live comfortably where he is born and bred, or wherever he considers “home”.
In the long term, the creation of agricultural villages could reverse the trend of urban migration. Then the population would begin to move from city to village and the Nigerian urban consumer would aspire to become the Nigerian rural producer. With “Vision Hope”; the top priority in agriculture – it would not make a difference whether the Nigerian lives in town or in the village.