Irrigation farmers rake N11bn last year – Ochekpe

The Minister of  Water Resources, Mrs Serah Ochekpe, has said that about 37,000 metric tonnes of irrigated farm produce valued at N11 billion were harvested last year.

Speaking at the flag off of the 2013/2014 irrigation farming at Bokolori irrigation project in Zamfara state, Ochekpe said thousands of farmers had benefitted from the federal government’s irrigation projects.
She said: “One can imagine the benefits that have accrued to the thousands of farmers who are benefiting from the irrigation activities in the project areas with the catchment area of the Bakolori irrigation Project, Middle Rima Valley Irrigation, Niger Valley Irrigation Project and Zauro Polder and Jibiya and Zobe Irrigation Project.”

The minister, who was represented by the Chairman, Board of Directors, Dr. Bulama Abdu, said apart from formal large and medium scale irrigation activities, the federal government was also encouraging small holding irrigation schemes.
Under the arrangement, Ochekpe said, tube well sand wash bares were provided for the farmers in fadama areas, adding that arrangements had been concluded with the World Bank to rehabilitate the Bakolori,Goronyo and Zobe irrigation projects.

Also speaking, the acting Managing Director of the SRRBDA, Salisu Gambo Dandume, expressed concern over land encroachment, but commended the efforts of Sen. Ahmed Sani in supporting irrigationactivities in the area through distribution of pump machines and fertilisers to dry season farmers.
In his welcome address, the project manager, Muhammad Lawal Maidoki, appealed for more training of extension workers and modern equipment in boosting irrigation farming in the state.

He said 82 Water Users Associations had been registered to facilitate dry season farming activities.In his remarks, chairman, Irrigation Farmers Association, Alhaji Sani Lawal, appealed to the federal government to review its fertiliser allocation policy of three bags to 10 bags per farmer.

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