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Research institute trains 20,000 irrigation farmers on efficient water use



Research institute trains 20,000 irrigation farmers on efficient water use

By Salisu Sani-Idris

The Compact on Technologies for Agricultural Transformation in Africa and Water Catalysts (TAAT-WEC) trained 20,000 irrigated farmers in efficient water management and soil water conservation technologies .

Professor Henry Igbadun, former irrigation program manager at the Agricultural Research Institute (IAR), Samaru, Zaria, said in Abuja on Thursday that the farmers came from Kano, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Jigawa states.

He was speaking at a one-day stakeholder consultation on opportunities to promote efficient water management to build the resilience of irrigated smallholder farmers.

Igbadun explained that the consultation was designed to share with government agencies, institutions and organizations what TAAT-WEC had done and to reflect together on how it could continue the project.

He said that the International Institute for Water Management (IWMI) in Colombo, which was implementing TAAT-WEC in seven African countries, sought a partnership with IRA to carry out its activities in Nigeria.

IWMI has offices across Africa and Asia.

Igbadun said the main objective of the project is to develop proven technologies to manage water on the ground, especially in irrigation and in dry areas, to maximize rainwater harvesting for improved production. .

“We have demonstrated technologies that farmers are more than willing to put into practice; all they need is to make little investment, but what is within their reach they are willing to do.

“The technology has made it possible to reduce the way water is used on the ground. For example, we introduced a pipe system to bring water to farmers’ fields differently from the way they pump water to fields.

“The field that normally takes two days to irrigate can now be irrigated in 10 hours. One hectare of land is irrigated by this system, he said.

Igbadun added that TAAT-WEC works with 180 farmers directly in the field.

“We have 80 farmers in Kano, around 50 in Nasarawa, 20 in Kaduna and Jigawa states each.

“In addition to that, we have field days attended by over 1,000 farmers from implementing states. We had a pre-season training that was attended by about 500 farmers.

“If we put together all of our field trips, farmer field days and whatever else we could organize, over 3,000 farmers participated.

“Overall, we could say that we were able to reach around 15,000 farmers to 20,000 farmers,” he said.

He added that the project targets three crops – wheat, rice and sorghum under irrigation, then millet sorghum under rainwater harvesting.

Igbadun also said the project was focused on young people because technology could motivate young people to get into farming.

“We gave them training alongside the extension workers. This is what we have been doing for three years in these places and our project is drawing to a close.

“What usually turns me on whenever I talk about the system is that a young farmer pointed out that he could now go to the field well dressed and then go to a wedding,” he said. declared.

Earlier, Mr. Oklo Jonathan, a field worker for the project in Nasarawa State, said the project had accomplished a lot in drawing the attention of young people to the potential of irrigation in agriculture.

In addition, Shu’aibu Jafar, a field agent from Kano State, said the innovation had minimized the cost of production for all irrigated farmers who adopted the techniques.

Source: NAN

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