Jutha Gupah, Maiduguri
Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno state; is to revive the Irrigation and Livestock Production (ILIP) schemes to boost farmers’ productivity and incomes in 2023.
The two agricultural schemes are sited in the Lake Chad Basin serving Marte, Dikwa, Ngala and Mobbar Councils in the state.
Unveiling the resuscitation of schemes recently; at the 2023 budget presentation of N234.8 billion to the State’s House of Assembly, the Governor; disclosed: “We shall embark on the massive production of wheat and rice by resuscitating the Baga Irrigation Scheme (BIS) project.”
He said this could strengthen smallholder farmers and boost their production in various crops that have comparative advantages of higher yields and incomes.
Besides, he added: “The Damasak Rice Bowl and Kerenoa pumping station will also be accessed to ensure the downstream supply of irrigation waters to farmers.”
He noted that this could boost their production of wheat and rice for both consumption andzulum exports to earn foreign exchange.
According to him, the Agricultural sector of the economy has been earmarked N7.24 billion for the execution of its capital projects.
In resuscitating the irrigation scheme, he further disclosed that 60 hectres of sprinkler system in six council areas have comparative advantages in the production of wheat, rice and vegetables.
“We’re to construct nine earth dams across the state,” he said, stating that this could also boost the production of livestock, including cattle that provide both nutrition and incomes to the pastoralists.
He noted that the nine earth dams could boost farmers’ irrigation schemes in the Lake Chad Basin with 2, 258 square kilometres.
Continued; “The State government intends to commission a multi-billion naira Rural-Urban Grazing Areas (RUGA) in the three senatorial districts of north, central and south of the state.”
He said that the Galtamari fish hatchery complex; including three existing livestock investigation and breeding centres will be revived to boost farmers’ and herders’ productivity to earn more incomes.
While apologizing for non-supply of fertilizers in 2022, he said; “As farmers could not access fertilizers this year, government will procure liquid fertilizers for distribution at subsidised rate in the 2023 cropping season.”