From Maduabuchi Nmeribeh, Kano
Thousands of Kano farmers have lauded the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and Kano state government for enhancing job creation in Kano through funding the expansion of the Watari Irrigation Dam.
IsDB and Kano state government facilitated the funding using the platform of Kano State Agro Pastoral Development Project (KSADP).
According to the KSADP Project Coordinator, Malam Ibrahim Garba Muhammad, “thousands of small holder families in Kano state will have their livelihoods changed for the better, as soon as expansion of Watari Irrigation project in Bagwai local government area of the state, through the creation of an additional 1, 000 hectares, is completed.”
He added that, “the expansion work, which will cost millions of Naira will be executed by Kano State Agro Pastoral Development Project, KSADP, with funding from the Islamic Development Bank, Lives and Livelihood Funds and the Government of Kano state.
“Kano’s economy is largely driven by subsistence agriculture with about 70 percent of the population of over 12 million, engaged in rain-fed and irrigated farming.
“Already, a consultant has been engaged for design and supervision of the work and when completed, we shall award the contact. This will be a major turning point in the lives of farmers in this domain.”
The Project Coordinator, made the assertion during stakeholder engagements involving the design and supervision consultant, traditional and political leaders as well as representatives of various farmers associations in the locality.
He further stated that, “for forty years, the irrigation land at Watari was just about 962 hectares and you know many families are benefitting from it. However, with an additional 1, 000 hectares in the next two years, you can imagine how many more peasant farmers will get jobs and be lifted out of poverty. That is why your cooperation in making this work a reality is very advantageous.
“We have come today so that the technical consultant can interact with you and together we will be able to achieve progress. The consulting company will be engaged in markings, drawings and some other things. But I want to assure you that your crops will not be destroyed neither will your farmers be taken away.
“Let me emphasize that our project, the KSADP, is funded and supported with grants by the Islamic Development Bank and the Lives and Livelihoods Fund, LLF, to improve crop production and enhance livestock productivity, to deal with poverty and increase incomes, so investment in irrigation infrastructure is one major step we are taking to achieve our goals.”
Malam Ibrahim Garba assured that on completion of the expansion of the irrigation project, the farms will be apportioned to peasants in the domain, stressing that none of them would be shortchanged.