Anambra FADAMA boss lists topography, poor irrigation as challenges
• Lauds Obiano’s Agric Efforts
Anambra State FADAMA Programme Coordinator, Mr Chucks Egbue has commended the state government for its demand driven and target to make Agriculture its number one pillar.
He said the objectives of FADAMA, which is in line with the agricultural agenda of the state, has made its works easier, adding that farmers in the state through the intervention of the state government and donor agencies are now increasing their yield per hectare by using the best agronomy practise.
“In rice, we started by getting three metric tons per hectare, but now we are on five. We are gradually moving to six, seven metric tonnes. And if you match it with what is being produced by other states you’ll see that we are already producing double.”
“Government is also providing the support of finances to farmers through Anambra State Small Business Agency (ASBA), providing them with certified input. Last year, they were provided rice free, which they only repaid using the rice they produced. If you collect 50kg to cultivate one hectare, and you are told to return 100kg, its like you got it free because from that one hectare you might get 50 bags of processed rice.”
“I am optimistic on the possibility of providing food for the nation because with our small land mass we have a lot that have been done. When we started, we produced only 80,000 metric tonnes of rice; as of last year we had about 180,000. The focus this year is that we will have 320,000 metric tonnes and we are going to beat it. We also partnered research agencies because we believe so much in modern ways of doing things in order to achieve result. Our land mass is small but with science and technology everything is possible.”
He identified topography as one of the challenges militating against their operations. “Getting to places that have arable lands can be difficult, but what the project and the state have been doing is to embark on a concerted and integrated construction of feeder roads to the farms. Several infrastructures projects have been going on.
“Another challenge is irrigation. Before now, the state was low on irrigation infrastructure. The government made it clear that without irrigation we are going nowhere and we cannot afford to farm only once. Irrigation is a major limitation, but we have five pivot irrigation projects going on and it is something that is heart warming. The projects will be completed soon, what it means is that farmers located in the areas will go ahead and farm whenever they want and farming in dry season brings more yield.”