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The OLD men melt the iron, the YOUNG MEN make the MONEY

These young people in Rural Kaduna in Nigeria have lived like these for hundred of years. They have found a way to survive.

Photo of Abiola Oyebanjo
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This is the second time I will be spending over a week in Rural Kaduna and what grips my mind is how the young people in these communities create wealth with ease. They are young farmers without education but they earn as much as 120,000 Naira ($700) per month. How do they do this? In my enquiry I had this brief.

1. They are self-dependent. They don’t have rely too much on external support or macro forces for support . The major crops they grow are maize, cotton, vegetables, ground nuts, ginger, millet etc. . Agriculture accounts for an estimated 56 percent of Kaduna’s GDP and employs approximately 4 million people.  Kaduna produces 22 percent of Nigeria's maize, 69 percent of her soya bean, 36 percent of her cotton and 10 percent of her ground nuts (peanuts) and provides agricultural produce to neighboring states. Interestingly, these youth may appear relatively poor but they earn reasonable fortune. One reason they are employed unlike their educated counterparts in the city is that they don’t wait too long for something to happen; they create it . "
2. They diversify. These young people do not depend on the dynamics of a single mode of occupation. They can do anything as long as it will yield an income. Most of them are farmers in the morning and cutlass producers in the evening while the older men melt the iron. They make so some livelihood out of this in larger scale. ThThey are better off than their educated colleagues in the town because they don’t lazy around waiting on doing just one thing to make money
3. They are supported.   They don’t do this on their own; they are driven by a community spirit. Most businesses are family based as everyone work for the development of the other.  The government has also supported with loans from the World Bank building roads and river crossings of about 400km around all rural communities in the state so that these farmers can transport their produce to larger farms. I led the research and it brought to me great insights. Unfortunately, the educated youth in the city are perhaps too complex to be supported, too knowledgeable to be aided, too much to be understood. 
However, there farmers still spend highly on their many wives and some drift to the city many a times to spend on frivolous party lives. There are no banks in these communities and in a matter of time, they become poor again. They have no technical idea of "Mechanization", "Industrialization", "Social Technology" or "Export”. If these are added to the current content of the specific local needs of these populace, there might be a workforce revolution. The educated in the city ones may have join themOne reason they are employed unlike their educated counterparts in the city is that they don’t wait too long for something to happen; they create it .


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