FG reiterates commitment to boost irrigation for food security

FG reiterates commitment to boost irrigation for food security

The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to invest in the irrigation sub-sector to enable Nigeria to achieve food security.


The Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, gave the assurance on Thursday in Enugu during the South East Regional Workshop on “Establishment and Strengthening of Water Users Association for Management of Public Irrigation Schemes”.


Adamu said that the irrigation sub-sector was one of the key policy thrusts of the Federal Government aimed at lifting more than 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by the year 2030.


He said that the Federal Government had resolved to massively invest in the sector to achieve food and water sufficiency by moving from drought-prone, rain-fed agriculture to irrigated agriculture to attain self-sufficiency.


“This is the first in the series of workshops planned to establish or strengthen water users of public irrigation schemes for effective and efficient management of the schemes.


“The current administration is committed to increasing food production through irrigated agriculture and ensuring greater efficiency and equity in the distribution and use of these resources for the well-being of Nigerians,” he said.


The minister said that the Water Bill was being presented to the National Assembly (NASS) to address various issues in the water sector.


“We are aware that it has been misunderstood. However, it is clear that the bill is not with any negative intention but to promote sustainable integrated water resources management nationwide,” Adamu said.


The Ebonyi State Commissioner for Water Resources, Chief Sunday Inyima, appealed to the Federal Government to reactivate the various irrigation projects in the South East geopolitical zone.


He cited the Adani Irrigation Scheme and Ezzamgbo Veterinary Dam, built by the former Premier of Old Eastern Region, Dr. Michael Okpara, as some of the irrigation schemes that needed to be rehabilitated.


The commissioner also urged the Federal Government to complete the Ivo Water Project and other abandoned dams which were attracted by some National Assembly members to the state.


“It is good to see how we can bring to life these dams that are not working in Ebonyi and other states in the region for the benefits of our farmers,” he said.


Inyima commended the Federal Government for its policies in the sector which had impacted positively on rice farmers in Ebonyi.

“Nature blessed our rice cultivation and our farmers are doing better today,” he said.


Mr Gerald Osuagwu, the Managing Director, Anambra Imo River Basin Development Authority, said that the South East zone needed efficient irrigation practices due to scarcity of land.


“We are relevant to the farmers only if we are able to provide them the needed extension services that will enhance their productivity, including the provision of adequate water for irrigation,” he said.

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