The wheel barrows youth’s empowerment purported to be given by Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue State may seem odious or laughable to many Nigerians. Gov. Ortom coming out to distant himself from the wheel barrows buhaha simply because they were branded with his name boldly written on them is also a comic. This is because is not new that even salt, sugar, rice, bread etc. are branded on many of our leaders name.
According to the governor (CPS) Tever Akase, the consent of the governor was not sought for, before the wheel barrows were given out. He said the wheel barrows belongs to the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) who received them as donations from the National Commission for Refugees, Migrant and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) for Benue citizens displayed during the Fulani herdsmen and farmers conflicts.
Benue State is unarguably the food basket of the nation and this reputation is not derived by their advancement in mechanized agriculture. The state as agricultural economy is largely thriving in subsistence pedigree. To me the need of the Benue people who are predominantly farmers are hoes, cutlasses, wheel barrows etc. so you distancing yourself from this important tool which your people needs in their thousands is laughable if one considers that the farmlands are not motor able.
The wheel barrow is the major facilitator of taking farm produce within the farms to the motorways. The need for wheel barrows here is also an expression of profound failure of the state government to provide access roads from farm to the market. The state government  should show Benue farmers who are subsistence farmers their blueprint to connect farmlands with accessible roads. Wheel barrows youth empowerment should be an interim thing pending the construction of the roads as Benue people are tired of wheeling their produce through bad un-motor able roads to market. Wheel barrows are also used to carry jerry cans filled with waters to the farmlands to water crops during farming seasons due to failure of good irrigation system.
The importance of wheel barrows cannot be commonized in the agric chain of Benue State. While it is important to condemn Gov. Ortom for inability to provide accessible roads to the farm, it is equally clear that roads cannot criss-cross the farmlands to upload foodstuffs.  In this respect I think the government cannot be bereted for being sensitive to the needs of his people. This is not to suggest that we retain stone-age method of agriculture.
As long as there is no immediate alternative to collecting crops from inter-farms and good irrigation for the farmers who are still undergoing subsistence agriculture instead of mechanized agriculture, the wheel barrow sadly is inevitably a facilitator.
To this effect Gov. Ortom will do well to remove his names on the wheel barrows and proceed to provide more as the Benue farmers are certainly in need of them.
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