NALDA trains over 100 farmers in Niger community on rice irrigation
The National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) trained over 100 farmers at Tunga Gana, a suburb community in Paikoro Local Government Area of Niger State which is about 30km from Minna the state capital and located along River Kaduna bank.
Conducting journalists round the 417 hectares acquired by the local farmers for irrigation farming, the NALDA State Coordinator, Mr Aminu Umaru, explained that over 100 farmers were trained in irrigation rice farming and upland rice farming.
He said the training aimed at making the farmers harness the potential of River Kaduna and improve the income of the indigent community which the indigenes initially only used for fishing before the arrival of NALDA in January this year in the community.
Mr Aliyu further explained that over 70 hectares have already been ploughed with rice nursery already in place which transplanting of the irrigation rice from the nursery would commence soon.
He, however, observed that with the presence of NALDA in the community, many young farmers have indicated interest to be trained in rice planting and handling of farm tools and equipment which is provided by NALDA to assist the trained farmer.
Mr Aliyu explained that over 10 pumping machines have already been provided, two tractors, 50 planters, sprayers, transplanters, seedlings, gloves and other farming tools. He noted that ten women from the community also were trained in the programme.
The Niger State NALDA boss noted that the Dam used for the rice irrigation farming was made possible through the many years abandoned water dam project embarked upon by River Basin Authority. He promised that the programme will be sustained even after irrigation farming.
While speaking of his experience, a 62-year-old Salisu Noma, a beneficiary of the rice irrigation training who spoke in Hausa said they were ignorant of the River, but with the coming of NALDA, they can now see the advantages in the farming business.
Ahmadu Isah who is the Sarki Ruwa of the community commended NALDA and explained that they have witness progress so far. He also appealed to the government and NALDA to support the farmers with mobility due to the long distance of the farming area.
For Sadia Ahmed one of the female beneficiary, NALDA has thought them land clearing and they can assist the men in planting and harvesting farm produce and appealed for continuity in the project.
The NALDA state coordinator reiterated that no farmer was asked to pay during the training and after the training and NALDA will recoup all expenses spent during the farming season and provide available markets for the produce when harvested.
He further encouraged the community to coopt the Fulani herders in the neighbouring community into the project in terms of securing the large farm space so as to avoid farmers and herders clash in the community.