WATER: AGRIC’S FRIENDLY TOOL

Posted by Adaora Anozie

On March 24, 2016

However, one thing you can’t take away from him is his brusqueness. He cares less if any ox is gored while driving home truths to any quarter-be it the authorities, foes or friends.

He is Abami Eda. Christened Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti, he was one whose songs sent shivers to the spine of government, exposed their ills and made logical conclusions on certain issues. In 1975, he sang a song titled “Water No Get Enemy”. This song today resonates even as the world marks the World Water Day.

The world definitely recognizes the role of water. It truly has no enemy as the Abami Eda said 41 years ago. Water makes up 55% to 78% of the human body- What a massive proportion. Water quenches thirst and saves lives.

How about to our plants? Its uses are actually vital to the survival of numerous crops littered.  Water together with other proponents ensures the proper output of agricultural produce for the consumers.

How well has water being made adequately available? A farmer in an interview with a top newspaper in Nigeria made an assertion that 80  per cent  of  farmers  have  lost their  crops  this  year  because  of  water shortage. This cannot be overlooked as it’s inimical to the agricultural prospects of the nation.

Irrigation systems need strengthening in order to complement the natural supply of water. Irrigation will definitely better soil, nutrient, and crop management as well as enhance   productivity and yields in small-scale agriculture.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)  in 1984, it projected that Nigeria’s population has already exceeded the carrying capacity of its land resources when cultivated at low levels of technology, that is, without irrigation” .

It remains to be seen how the government is working assiduously on this. A quick check on the Federal Ministry of Water resources website, there are bare documentations of the progress report of irrigation in agriculture.

The Engr. Suleiman Hussaini Adamu led administration at the ministry definitely have their work cut out. AgroNigeria expressly gleaned from its website (http://www.waterresources.gov.ng/) some projects which are yet to make headway despite its commissioning years back.  A project awarded to develop 872ha for gravity irrigated agriculture in Bagwai LGA, Kano State is still on 56.16 per cent progress despite been awarded in 2005 at a figure of N5.4 billion (N5.438,683,257.62).

In Jimeta & Yola, Adamawa State, the Federal Government awarded contract to irrigate 1,200ha of land as well as provide for livestock and fisheries development by PTF for N2.9B in 1999 and transferred to the Ministry in 2002 is still on a progress stage of 60 percent. This is due to the suspension of work in October 2010.

More appalling is the project located at Birnin-Kebbi & Argungu, Kebbi State which is still at 6.25 per cent rate. The project is said to develop 10,500ha Fadama area for irrigated agriculture as well as flood and erosion control.

The government must duly take affirmative actions to ensure agriculture’s viable tool is provided to farmers at ease. Truly, the Abami Eda’s grouse about 41 years might still linger on if the government fails to provide this inevitable necessity of man, plants and animals.

Culled from AgroNigeria