In what will transform the conditions of farming communities along the Kano River Basin, the Buhari Administration added another feather to its cap in the agricultural sector as Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN today inaugurated the multi-billion-naira Kano River Irrigation Scheme, KRIS, which will touch at least one million lives.
The scheme, KRIS, is a component of the Transforming Irrigation Management in Nigeria Project (TRIMING).
Speaking at the commissioning of the scheme in Bunkure LGA of Kano, Prof. Osinbajo said “the Project is an innovative approach adopted by the Federal Government, which has opened access to life-changing opportunities for the farming communities that are involved with the Project.
“The Project also serves as a vehicle to effectively harness the potential of vast water resources infrastructure, some of which were built well over 40 years ago but largely remained either unutilised or grossly underutilised.
“The main beneficiaries of the Project include basin stakeholders, irrigation and drainage entities, water users’ associations, farmers, and rural dwellers in the Project areas. Through the direct infrastructure investments covering about 37,500 hectares across six states, concurrent activities in agriculture and on-farm water management in these areas, approximately 140,000 farm families with about 1 million people are directly benefiting.”
Continuing, the VP noted that “today’s event is a clear demonstration of the Buhari Administration’s commitment to transform the conditions of our people in the communities of our nation’s bread basket.
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He said optimizing water resources in such a way “will revolutionize the local agricultural economy and ultimately enhance the food security of the Nigerian people,” adding that the practical advantages of “unshackling our farmers from the constraints of rain-fed farming and boosting their capacity for year-round farming cannot be understated. This is precisely what we are doing through this project.”
On the objective of the Transforming Irrigation Management in Nigeria Project, the Vice President stated that “it is essentially to enhance the productivity of 140,000 farmers within and near the following four rehabilitated irrigation schemes in Northern Nigeria: Bakolori Irrigation Scheme in Zamfara State, Middle Rima Irrigation Scheme in Sokoto State, Kano River Irrigation Scheme and Hadejia Valley Irrigation Scheme in Jigawa state.
According to the VP, “the project provides technical assistance for farmers at each irrigation scheme and facilitates strong forward and backward linkages along the value chains.”
Regarding the beneficiary communities, the VP noted that having “suffered the frustration of poorly maintained water distribution facilities with the attendant losses that have ensued, it is my hope that we will now see these facilities as yours and embrace a collective responsibility of preserving them and ensuring their sustainability.”
Prof. Osinbajo then commended Governor Abdullahi Ganduje’s tenacity and collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, comprising the Minister and his team, which ensured that the project was completed.
Earlier in his remarks, Governor Ganduje thanked the Vice President for his support and the Federal Government for its commitment to the actualisation of many impactful Federal Government projects in Kano State.
Citing roads, rail and airport projects, among others executed by the Federal Government, the Governor noted that Kano was being transformed into a centre of trade and commerce in West Africa, adding that the Irrigation Scheme would add value to farming communities and associated businesses in Kano State.
On his part, Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu commended the President and Vice President’s commitment to the actualization of many people-oriented projects across the country.
Other dignitaries at the event were the Minister of State for Works & Housing, Hon. Umar Ibrahim El – Yakub, Emir of Rano, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Kabiru Inuwa and the Managing Director of Hadejia Jama’are River Basin Development Authority, Alh Ma’amun Da’u Aliyu, among others.