FG intensifies irrigation projects to boost agricultural production

•Kicks off graduate, youth empowerment scheme in Zamfara

AS part of its efforts to ensure food security in Nigeria, the Federal Government has promised to intensify irrigation projects to boost agricultural production.

Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, gave the assurance on Thursday, at the kick-off the Graduates/ Farmers Empowerment Scheme in the areas of crop production, in Bakolori Irrigation Project, Talata Mafara, Zamfara State.

He explained that the  Bakolori Dam project had a full potential of 23,000 hectares, adding that only about 8,000 is currently being utilised.

The minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs Rabi  Jimeta, said the scheme was initiated to revitalise the River Basins Development Authorities, which were established with the view to boosting agricultural production in the country.

He expressed the government’s commitment to revitalising the economy through all-year round farming with the nation irrigation facilities.

According to him, the country was blessed with 3.12 million hectares of potential irrigable land and only less than 10 per cent had been fully developed.

Adamu further disclosed that under the 2016-2030 roadmap of the ministry, the country had the potential to develop about 500,000 hectares through direct government intervention and development of another one million hectares by large scale commercial farmers.

He appealed to all levels of government within the beneficiary localities of the scheme to provide maximum support to this significant government investment, through active participation in the operation, maintenance and management of the schemes.