The World Bank has invested a sum of $495million to boost irrigation in Nigeria through the assisted Transforming Irrigation Management in Nigeria (TRIMING) project of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.
This is even as the Federal Government on Wednesday, flagged-off the rehabilitation of 8,000 hectares and conversion/expansion of 5,560 hectares works of Bakolori irrigation scheme in Zamfara State.
Speaking at the flagging-off, Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, said the World Bank assisted project is aimed at boosting the irrigation potential of the country.
Osinbajo who spoke through the Minister of Water Resources, Engr Suleiman Adamu, said that five basins of Dadin Kowa in Gombe, Hadejia Valley in Jigawa, Kano River in Kano, Middle Rima in Sokoto and Bakolori in Zamfara were selected for the pilot phase.
He added that government hopes to replicate the scheme all over the country to boost the agricultural policy of food security of the present government.
TRIMING is converting the sprinkler component covering 5, 500 hectares and rehabilitation of gravity component covering 8,000 hectares that will provide a potential of about 13,500 hectares.
This will improve large scale public irrigation in Northern Nigeria where it will make a contribution to agricultural production, growth and rural poverty reduction.
He called on Nigerians to take to agriculture in full commercial scale as it now accounts for over 40% of the GDP.
“The potential irrigable area in Nigeria is 21 million hectares, with over 1 million in the north while only 200,000 hectares are currently irrigated. Therefore, the irrigation transformation and development is very essential for sustained agricultural growth of the country,” he said.
Earlier, the National Project Coordinator of TRIMING, Engr. Peter Manjuk, stated that the TRIMING Project is an intervention programme of the World Bank to transform the irrigation production in dry season farming in Nigeria.
According to him, the project has a 7-year life span to improve on the nation’s dams, integrate water resources management, develop the nation’s irrigation facilities and develop the entire agricultural facilities of the country thereby creating value for Nigerian farmers.
Manjuk, said that for the TRIMING Project to holistically address the issues of Nigeria irrigation project, cost recovery for irrigation and dams must be reviewed, provide adequate support services for profitable irrigating farming and provide strong budget and post harvest support services for most farmers.
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