Food Security: Resuscitate Farming Practice in Schools, Lawmaker Urges Makinde

May 26, 2024

The lawmaker representing Oluyole State Constituency in the Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon. Waheed Akintayo (Ilumoka) has appealed to Governor Seyi Makinde through the state Ministry of Education to reintroduce the practice of school gardens in both government and private schools/institutions across the state as a means of boosting food security.

Akintayo appealed shortly after presenting a motion on the floor of the House on the need to embrace resuscitation of school gardens in both public and private schools and institutions in Oyo State.

He noted that cultivating school gardens was the priority of the government, school management, and the entire students in the past as large portions of school lands were used to cultivate crops such as yam, cassava, maize, vegetables, and beans.

The lawmaker who enjoined the state government to provide necessary logistics and support for the reintroduction and sustenance of school gardens to enhance this practice, advocated a day set aside each week in schools for agricultural practicals on school farms.

This, he added would encourage students to take an interest in farming while the same would be replicated in each household where gardens would be cultivated for domestic consumption.

“In the past, every school used to have large portions of land for cultivation. The students had spaces allocated for them to plant a particular type of crop which would be effectively monitored by teachers and Agric prefects. In those days, each school had a designated day within the school hours for agricultural practicals which would enable all students to assemble and work on the school Gardens.

“When matured, the crops would be sold, given out to teachers or staff or sold to the local markets as a source of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for the school. It will interest Honourable colleagues to note that some of the proceeds from the sales of the farm produce from the school gardens were usually used for the purchase of some instructional materials for schools, equipped libraries with books, bought laboratory equipment, and at times used for the celebration of the end of the year party for teachers and students.

“There is no doubting the fact that the importance of school gardens is the provision of food and inculcation of agricultural practices in students.

“Aware that in the past two decades, the practice and habit of cultivation of school gardens by public and private schools in Oyo state had gone into extinction. The most disheartening aspect of it is that most students of primary and secondary schools nowadays do not have simple agricultural knowledge of farming. Some have the orientation or mindset that yams for instance are plucked from trees. This is unfortunate.

“Concern that in addressing the food shortage that has plunged the country and states into famine and food crisis in recent times, It is advisable for government and other stakeholders in the education sector in both public/private primary and secondary schools as well as other educational institutions to go back to the drawing board by reintroducing and embracing the practice of school gardens through the cultivation of different crops.

“By so doing, it is believed that each household will imbibe the spirit of having a House garden to cultivate crops for domestic consumption”, the lawmaker said.