Today, may your soul find rest and your burden be lightened. You are celebrated!

Have you read about the stories of farmers who committed suicides due to huge debt incurred as a result of total loss? Many of these stories are heart wrecking and worst still, there is no structure in place to avert a future occurrence. Can you just imagine, how do you expect a farmer to cope after the whole farm is razed down by fire? Or when a swamp of pests feast on a farm without leaving any crop for harvest or a group of bandit or gunmen capturing a ready-to-harvest farm for a ransom or when over 60-70 percent produce harvested are loss or an accident that made a farmer incapacitated for a period of time during the farming season or a dry spell that leaves the whole farm withered or uncontrollable flood that cover up the whole crop on the farm or the state of the nation that calls for concern? How do we expect a farmer to cope with all these shocks alone, without any support structure to cushion the effect?

These and more are being experienced, and many times, there is a weak or no structure that can provide succor and reduce the impact of these shocks on their livelihood. Thus, it has a negative effect on the mental health of the average farmer, and this thread needs to change to reduce avoidable deaths. Therefore, it is important that interventions also address the emotional needs in building resilience of the farmers, and building resilience starts with the mindset that the mind needs healing after a traumatic experience.

Therefore, we need to upgrade our health sector to address mental health issues, especially when the patient is unaware. Also, a stronger social safety net is required to reduce the impact of losses on the vulnerable groups. Also, we need to create more awareness on mental health and its impact on well-being, and encourage more people to seek help. Furthermore, every intervention project should incorporate psychosocial support as a component of the project implementation especially for farmers and other agricultural value chain actors bouncing back as a result of the CoVID 19 lockdown. It is possible to achieve food security when we have producers who are mentally strong and able to believe in the possibility of a secured food system.