Official wants river basins’ potential harnessed to enhance agricultural production
Mrs Amudalat Olaniyan, Executive Director, Agriculture and Commercial Services, Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority (O-ORBDA), has urged the Federal Government to harness the nation’s river basins to enhance agricultural production.
Olaniyan, who made the call in Abuja on Friday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said doing this would serve as water reservoir especially for dry season farming.
According to her, the river basin basically is to store water and when we talk about water, it is a versatile product that is used for so many things.
‘‘We use water to produce food, for consumption and even to generate power; we even generate power from two or three of our dams.
‘‘And you know the importance of food to the nation; no food, no life and without water, life is miserable,’’ she said.
The executive director stated that the basin from its inception had created impacts within the benefitting communities by supplying water for irrigation farming.
She opined that if all river basin authorities in the country were harnessed, farmers would be engaged in all season agricultural activities.
She said the basin had undertaken comprehensive development of both surface and ground water resources for multi-purpose usage.
Olaniyan, who identified lack of adequate funding as a major challenge, appealed to government at all levels to fund the present programmes going on in all the functional basins across the country.
‘‘I am assuring you that if we pay more attention to all these basins in our country, Nigeria will go back to its ancient time when agriculture was the main stay of the economy.
“You can imagine people here producing more than we used to produce in the South-Western region because of the presence of the basin, we are producing cassava, cocoa, cashew, palm oil in large quantities.
‘‘I am appealing to government to provide more funds for the basin authorities and even to establish more basins,’’ she said.
She said that the basin authority would create chances for recreational services and tourism.