By Ahmed Ahmed
An agronomist, Dr Iliyasu Gital, has urged Bauchi State government to invest in farmer-led irrigation schemes to improve crop growth and quality as well as boost food production.
While addressing journalists in Bauchi on Friday, Gita also appealed to the government to revamp irrigation schemes in the state to increase crop production.
He lamented that the small-scale farmers were facing challenges, including food and water insecurity, dependence on unpredictable rain, and increasing frequency of natural disasters.
He pointed out that farmer-led irrigation was based on building inclusive private sector supply chains.
“Boosting technological innovations, and increasing use of pumps and water application as well as establishment of Dams.
“We need to combine our efforts with the private sector to bring technologies for farmer-led irrigation to smallholder farmers.
“By allowing farmers to grow crops on a consistent schedule, irrigation also creates more reliable food supplies,” Gital said.
He said that farmer-led irrigation would fast-track access to irrigation services for farmers to enhance adaptation of their farming systems to climate change and climate variability.
“Therefore, the government needs to improve Irrigation facilities such as big and art dams, pumps, water bore, sprinklers, controllers for the purpose of irrigating land with water,” he said.
Gital, who was the immediate past Special Adviser to Governor Bala Mohammed on Agriculture, urged the youth to embrace farming as the white collar job was not forthcoming.
“Government should make farming attractive by providing all the necessary Technology to train the youth on all aspects of farming and how to use and maintain the machines,” he said.
The expert however advised farmers to engage in an irrigation system of farming no matter how small the land.