Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono has restated the ministry’s plans to upgrade irrigation technology, saying it would ensure sustainable economic growth, improve accessibility and affordability of sound technology such as smart precision irrigation in the build-up to attaining food security, nutrition and increase the internally generated revenue of the farmers.
The minister made the disclosure during a recent courtesy visit to his office by the Minister of Water Resources, FMWR, Engr. Sulemain Adamu and his team to the ministry.
The visit was to seek further avenues of collaboration by both ministries in the development of Agriculture, especially dry season farming.
Speaking, Nanono, stated that water is key to Agriculture and that sustenance of water supply at every season farming, would require the collaboration and synergy between the two ministries.
He added that the ministries will set up ‘Steering and Technical Committees’ to ensure that proper framework and guidelines are outlined towards achieving set targets for the benefits of the country in line with President Buhaari’s diversification policy of the economy.
The minister also pointed out that people are now putting more efforts into dry season farming, which is synonymous with water.
“This is where FMWR comes in, either in small or large irrigation farming and our role in the ministry is to take advantage of the location of the water bodies provided by the Water Resources ministry, such as dams, to explore how to promote irrigation farming in those areas,” Adamu noted.
He appreciated his Water Resources counterpart for his support and commitment in the rehabilitation of dams across the country.
“I have physically seen finished dams where farming process has been taking place, assuring that the ministry will synergize in order to increase food production, create more jobs and generate revenue for the country.
“There is need to identify potential areas for the development of more irrigation schemes to raise crops, livestock and take note of time line operations, so as to promote irrigated agriculture in each of the six geopolitical zones of the country for wealth, job creation and attainment of food security and nutrition,” he said.
In his remarks, Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu, reiterated the the commitment of his ministry to support FMARD in any capacity to realise food security.
He said, “FMWR is committed towards providing adequate water supply during the dry season farming to ensure food security in the country and will support in terms of provision of access water in rural areas for crop and livestock development across the nation.”
Adamu called for more commitment by key players in ensuring that the expectations are met, noting that ‘the development of positive attitudes will bring about positive results.
In the same vein, the agric Minister, received on a courtesy visit, by National Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer of African Union Development Agency – New Partnership for Africa’s Development, AUDA- NEPAD, Princess Gloria Akobundu, who was also in the ministry to seek partnership and support for the implementation of the organisation’s flagship programmes in line with the decisions of the Heads of States of the African Union for the development of the African continent.
She expressed the need to assist smallholder farmers across the country especially women and youths to cushion the impact of COVID -19 Pandemic.
She said the women farmers are the bedrock of food production in Nigeria.
In his responses, Nanono disclosed efforts by FMARD to empower women smallholder farmers including a recent roll out distribution of free Agricultural inputs to 7,500 to women in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
In addition, the minister said similar distributions were earlier done in other states across the country and also the recent inauguration of National Gender Steering Committee, to bridge the gender gap of smallholder farmers in Nigeria.
He added that, “women smallholder farmers constitute about 70-80 percent of the agriculture labour force and they produced the bulk of food for domestic consumption.

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