From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
RECESSION-INDUCED farming is on the increase among civil servants in Asaba, the capital of oil rich Delta State.
The downward trend of the nation’s economy occasioned by the crash in the prices of crude oil at the international market took a huge toll on the finances of the state.
Although, Delta is among few states across the federation still meeting up with salary obligation to workers, other perks of office that normally shore up workers’ personal income have been scrapped.
As such, most civil servants in the state have taken to farming as an alternative means to earn legal income in addition to the monthly salary which can no longer sustain homes in view of the ever rising cost of living.
Mr. Tony Efe, the Librarian, Government House Library told our correspondent that he took to cultivation of yam at an undeveloped plot of land in Okpanam town due to the present economic situation.
“Before now I was just doing it casually. But today, I have developed serious passion partly because of the poor economy and in the next six years I will out of service. So I have to engage myself seriously to feed my family.
“Government has been supportive of this diversification to encourage people to go into farming. They have rolled programmes which most of us have keyed into, and it is our belief that government will be committed to the programme by releasing funds.
“So many people are already engaged in it, and as such, in the next one or two years, prices of foodstuffs will drop drastically,” Efe said.
But Mrs. Franca Abasi is into subsistence cultivation of vegetables including pumpkin, okra and green leaves at the piece of land beside her house.
“I no longer rest when I close from work. Weekend rest is not for me any longer. In the last two months, I have been getting proceeds from my farms, we feed from it,” she said.