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FOOD CRISIS: Nigerian govt hands over 22,308 hectares irrigation projects to farmers



The Federal Government, on Thursday, announced the completion of 22,308 hectares of irrigation projects, adding that the projects had been handed over to farmers for food production.

It also announced further development of irrigable areas totalling over 15,000 hectares, adding that this would be handed over to farmers by the end of the third quarter of 2024.

The Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Joseph Utsev, who disclosed this at the ongoing 30th Regular Meeting of the National Council on Water Resources and Sanitation in Abuja, said the projects would help in tackling the food crisis across the country.

Ripples Nigeria reports that Nigeria is currently facing a food crisis and as part of measures to tackle this, the Federal Government declared on Wednesday that it would distribute the 42,000 metric tonnes of grains approved by President Tinubu to poor Nigerians at no cost.

Speaking on other measures adopted by the government to tackle the country’s food crisis, the minister told participants at the meeting in Abuja on Thursday that over 20,000 hectares of irrigated land had been provided for farmers.

Read also: NACCIMA backs Tinubu, govs decision on food production, price control

Utsev said: “Irrigated agricultural practice has been identified as key to a vibrant Nigerian economy, accounting for a high percentage of Gross Domestic Product and a viable intervention option that will ensure national food security and poverty alleviation.

“Since the last council meeting (in 2023), some irrigation schemes have been completed and handed over to farmers for cultivation through the World Bank-sponsored Transforming Irrigation Management in Nigeria project.

“These schemes include the Hadejia Valley 5,750 hectares irrigation scheme in Jigawa State; Kano River 14,444 hectares irrigation scheme in Kano State; Gari 2,114 hectares irrigation project in Kano and Jigawa States.”

According to Utsev, the water ministry was “developing irrigable areas totalling over 15,000 hectares, which is nearing completion. This will be handed over to farmers by the end of the third quarter of year 2024.”

He said further “To transform and promote irrigation development towards sustainable food production and security for the greater socio-economic well-being of the nation, the ministry had proposed to channel all efforts towards achieving the target of developing 500,000 hectares of land by 2030.

“This will be achieved in collaboration with the Federal Department of Irrigation and Drainage, River Basin Development Authorities, states, LGAs, and the private sector.”

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