FG, States, to develop 1m hectares of irrigable land before 2030- Minister
The Federal Government says it will partner the states and the private sector to develop one million hectares of irrigable land in the country between 2016 and 2030.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Minister of Water Resources, Alhaji Suleiman Adamu, disclosed this in Sokoto on Friday, when he paid a courtesy call on Gov. Aminu Tambuwal.
According to Adamu, Nigeria has the potential of developing nearly 3.41 million hectares of irrigable land with about 1.8million hectares in the Niger-Benue valley.
” Currently, only about 130,000 hectares is being utilised nationwide, and this is grossly inadequate and underutilised.
” The Federal Government would on its own increase the irrigable land to 500,000 hectares in the nearest possible future,” he said.
The minister said he was visiting existing dams and irrigation facilities in Sokoto and Kebbi States with a view to making them operate maximally.
Adamu promised that the Federal Government would no longer pay lip service to the agricultural sector, saying ”it is no longer business as usual.”
He also promised that the Federal Government would complete Goronyo dam and Shagari dam in the state as well as their irrigation facilities.
Adamu averred that the Federal Government was now focusing on revitalizing agriculture for food sufficiency, employment generation and poverty reduction.
Adamu commended Gov. Tambuwal for improving the irrigation facilities in the state.
”Tambuwal is putting Sokoto on the map of rice producing states and this is heart-warming,” he added.
Responding, Tambuwal promised to partner with the Federal Government to boost food production and ensure food security in the state.
The governor commended the Federal Government for its laudable initiatives to complete all ongoing irrigation projects in the country.
”We are also striving to revive various irrigation facilities in the state and construct new ones.
”This is to ensure food sufficiency and the general economic well being of the people,” Tambuwal said,