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KSADP to boost irrigation farming with 1,000-hectare expansion project at Watari

By Murtala Adewale, Kano
25 November 2021   |   2:43 am
Kano State Agro-Pastoral Development Project (KSADP) has concluded the process of awarding an N2billion construction project of 1,000 hectares of land downstream at Watari Irrigation

[FILES] Irrigation

Kano State Agro-Pastoral Development Project (KSADP) has concluded the process of awarding an N2billion construction project of 1,000 hectares of land downstream at Watari Irrigation to boost valley and all-season agricultural production in Kano.

The KSADP is a five-year programme under the funding of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and Life and Livelihood Fund (LLF), with a focus on improving crop production and enhancing livestock productivity in Kano. The project primarily intended to reduce poverty, boost food security, empower smallholder farmers and create meaningful means of livelihood to youth in the state.

KSADP State Project Coordinator, Alh. Ibrahim Garba Muhammad, who disclosed the expansion work plan at a special dinner organised by SAA/KSADP to mark the end of its week-long media field tour held to showcase the impact of the project implementation, noted that the multi-billion naira project will also create employment opportunities.

Alh. Ibrahim hinted that upon the completion of the expansion, additional 4,000 new farmers, especially those producing rice, maize, and vegetables would be guaranteed with constant and affordable supply of water for their produce.

He added that the water management would subsequently be leased to private operators for sustainability and revenue generation for the state government.

The coordinator stressed that prior to the expansion project; KSADP had completed the rehabilitation of 962 hectares of Watari dam with N314 million to enable farmers to resume production from the 40 years old dam that has since remained under disrepair.

Besides, he emphasised that KSADP is constructing a total of 70 kilometres of feeder roads in 15 rural communities in the state.

He said the road infrastructure which is under crop market development and market access sub-component is to facilitate economic development including the movement of commodities and animals from farms to markets.

The SPC, who expressed satisfaction with the impact of Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA) as a technical institution entrusted with the crop implementation value chain component of the project, reminded of the yearly return target of 850 metric tons of grains as well as 1,000 metric tons of rice from beneficiaries.

He said the project under SAA/KSADP is expected to impact 450,000 farmers through production, processes, market linkage and other value addition across the 44 local government areas of the state throughout the five years life span of the project.

On his part, the Country Director, SAA Nigeria, Professor Sani Miko, informed that SAA is already embarking on the implementation of KSADP project with full deployment of the best modern agricultural technologies in collaboration with various stakeholders to meet the target.

He explained that SAA is introducing regenerative technologies to reduce the impact of climate change on production especially with a focus on biotechnology instead of concentration on chemicals.

Represented by his deputy, Dr. Abdulhamid Gambo, the country director said SAA is also exploring areas of integrated soil management and nutrient-sensitive agriculture which would add value addition to food production. He said SAA placed a high premium on healthy and good living conditions of consumers through the adoption of crops with micronutrient content and organic seeds.

Dr. Abdulhamid emphasised that SAA/KSADP is providing services and technologies to target farmers from the production level through processing and marketing as well as a business opportunity and financial support. At the production level, the director said farmers were trained on modern farming techniques that will yield bumper harvest adding that hundreds of women who specialised in processing were also trained and provided with facilities that added to the value of their businesses.

He explained that SAA/KSADP established Community Based Seed Production to encourage local and accessible seed multiplication after the provision of foundation seeds to the farmers as well as an agro-processing centre where farmers would be connected to the market without the interference of middlemen.

Dr. Abdulhamid who hinted at SAA/KSADP projection to surpass the yearly returns made reference to about 114,000 beneficiaries already captured in the first year of implementation against 100,000 targeted.