By Jonathan Ugbal: Government House Correspondent
Wife of Cross River Governor, Dr. Linda Ayade has said that her decision to go home and harvest yams was borne out of the desire to relive her childhood experience and inspire other women not to forget farming as a sustainable means of livelihood.
Photographs of Mrs. Ayade harvesting yam and tending to a farmland went viral earlier this week and she told CrossRiverWatch that the feeling was awesome after harvesting and said she had missed years of farming due to motherly duties as well as other engagements and duties.
She said her aging parents could no longer farm and she has renewed interest to assist them by tending to the farm.
“When I pulled out that yam from the ground, the feeling was awesome and very estatic. It is something I have missed for a very long time. I have always been in the farm when we were younger. The harvest saved a lot of money for my dad as he did not have to spend money on what we will eat. He spent the money on other needs. Even the left over harvest was even sold to get monwy for other things.
“I was motivated to start my own farm because my parents are getting old. I love farming because I have akways done it, but of course I want to also encourage other women not to forget farming as a sustainable means of livelihood.” She told CrossRiverWatch.
The images were promoted as part of the highlights of the 2017 Obudu New Yam festival celebrated annually on the first Saturday of September and she called on women to follow suit.
But, in modern times, the harvest of yams during the festival is viewed as ceremonial with the actual harvest carried out between late November and early January CrossRiverWatch gathered.
Also, she commissioned a skills acquisition center and hosted women as part of her itinerary for the festivities.