Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano
The Kano State Agro Pastoral Development Project will support at least 550, 000 primary beneficiary farmers in the state, as part of its overall objective to contribute to reducing poverty and strengthening food and nutrition security in the state.
The project, through Sasakawa Services, would impact on 450,000 farmers of rice and maize while KNARDA, the state agricultural agency, has been engaged to work with 100 000 farmers, providing them starter kits including fertilizer, seeds and animal plough, trainings and marketing services.
The State Project Coordinator, Malam Ibrahim Garba Muhammad told reporters at the weekend that, “The project will provide support to smallholder farmers with access to improved inputs (seed, fertilizer) and extension services to increase production, yields and residue of cereals (rice, maize, wheat, sorghum), legumes (soya bean, cowpea, groundnut)”.
According to him, “the project will support smallholder farmers to access equipment for land preparation, harvest and post-harvest operations. This will sustainably increase production, yield and make crops residues and agro-industrial by-products more abundant and available for animals feeding.”
He stated that the project would invest substantially in irrigation development to provide farmers with impetus for improved production and increased prosperity.
“For instance in the next coming weeks, we are going to award contracts for the renovation of Watari dam. The project will develop additional 1, 000 hectares of land downstream of the dam, using gravity for irrigation, for 4000 new farmers for rice, maize, onion, tomato, groundnut, cowpea and vegetable production,” the Project Coordinator revealed.
“To sustain value addition, the project will support local fabrication of mechanised equipment and the establishment of post-harvest services through trainings and coaching. This will improve the volume and quality of marketed produce translating into more jobs, income and reduction of youth unemployment.
Furthermore, value chains actors will be trained in processing, marketing and in value chain governance and empowerment,” he added.
He explained that, “the project will support smallholder farmers engaged in dairy and beef production, feed lot production and small ruminants rearing by women and youth with access to feed through public and private initiatives.
“The project planned to support to cattle fattening schemes as well as small ruminant fattening and reproduction schemes to provide more quality meat for the citizenry.”
Similarly, Malam Ibrahim stated that arrangement had been concluded to invest in livestock and livestock products market development and market access, explaining that activities to be embarked upon by the project in this sub-sector, include investment in milk collection, processing and storage, support to milk and milk products marketer’s associations, improvement of livestock markets and slaughter houses.