Nigeria: Wheat, Rice Production - NGO Trains Farmers On Irrigation

13 December 2019

Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation-Water Enabler Compact (TAAT-WEC) has trained some farmers in Kano on Improved irrigation and water management in wheat and rice production.

The National Coordinator of TAAT-WEC, Prof. Henry Igbadun in his remarks at the workshop on Thursday, said the training was aimed at boosting wheat and rice production in Kano and the country at large.

According to him, the workshop will give the farmers the opportunity to acquire knowledge on the new dry season water management in wheat and rice production.

He said, "TAAT-WEC project scaled out tools , technological solutions and innovations in irrigation and agricultural water management to increase productivity and production of wheat, rice and sorghum.

"We also build the capacity of a cadre of trainers, including innovation platform facilitatiors, extention agents, champion farmers and youths in the proper use of irrigation and water management technologies and implementation of good irrigation management practices," he said.

According to him, the new technology will also attract investment from public and sector sources into irrigated agricultural production of wheat, rice and sorghum through the demonstration of viability and profitability of irrigation technologies.

Igbadun added that the TAAT-WEC project had also distributed wheat seeds and fertilizer to selected farmers in Kadawa and Alkamawa communities of the state to motivate them to cultivate wheat in the 2018/2019 season.

"This will serve as control plots to the TAAT-WEC demonstration fields in the two locations, aimed at comparing the yields from their fields with that of the TAAT-WEC fields to assess the effect of the new technology.

"The technology has yielded good results with increased in wheat yield by 15 to 15.5 per cent in check basins and 26 to 37.2 per cent in raised-bed strips when compared with farmers' fields.

"High values were recorded in Alkamawa compared to Kadawa. Our development objective is to rapidly expand access of smallholder farmers to high yielding agricultural technologies to improve food production, assure food security and raise rural incomes", he explained.

According to Igbadun, the technoogy also recorded reduction in water conveyance losses by 90 per cent with the use of PVC pipes to distribute water, reduce cost of production and increase profit.

He added that Farmers' field are no longer flooded due to breached canal walls when spiles with control valves are used.

Igbadun said that the project was funded by the African Development Bank (ADB) through the collaboration of International Water Management Institute and the Institue of Agricultural Research (IAR) Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

In his remarks, the Kano State Deputy Governor, Dr Nasiru Gawuna commended the TAAT-WEC for the workshop, saying it will go along way in complementing the efforts of the state government on agriculture.

Gawuna, who was represented by the Director of Administration, Ministry of Agriculture, Hajiya Zarah Suleiman said the state government was ready to give the project all the necessary support.

He said the workshop will contribute in enhancing the knowledge of the farmers on the modern farming technology and called on them to adopt the new technology.

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