Nigeria Initiates Irrigated Dry Season Farming to Increase the Security of its Food.

The Benin Owena River Basin Development Authority has been given permission by the Federal Government, acting via the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation, to begin irrigated farming during the 2023 dry season.

This declaration was made by Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Professor Joseph Utsev, while he was in Benin City, Edo State, visiting the River Basin Development Authority.

He clarified that the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation was acting to carry out the President’s order to cultivate 500,000 hectares of irrigable land for increased food production for Nigeria as part of his current evaluation tour of the ministry’s agencies and projects.

The Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation’s Director of Media and Public Relations, Mrs. Funmi Imuetinyan, made this announcement in a statement.

Utsev urged States and localities to make lands accessible for agricultural uses in support of the important endeavor, and he called on all of the nation’s River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs) to start irrigation-based dry season farming in 2023.

During the launch of the 2021/2022 Hydrological Year Books, he emphasized the significance of their responsibilities in the infrastructure and project planning, design, and construction related to water resources.

He went on to say that the books will help scholars, policy makers, and other stakeholders in water resources for the development of infrastructure and environmental sustainability.

During the familiarization visit, the Minister also made a suggestion that the recently opened farm road will improve communication between the people and the government by making it possible for people and agricultural products to be transported together in a smooth manner.

Engineer Ahmed Saliu, the Managing Director of the Benin Owena River Basin Development Authority, stated in his remarks that the River Basin has continued to be proactive and responsive to the communities in her catchment States by providing a variety of projects, such as roads and rural infrastructure development, irrigation schemes, water schemes, irrigated farms (Songhai Model), dams, and youth empowerment and training programs.

He went on to say that the Benin Owena River Basin Development Authority is leading the charge to establish a network of hydro-meteorological stations in all key areas throughout the River Basin’s catchment States.
The Executive Director of Agricultural Services of the River Basin, Mrs. Mary Nwabuno Ononuju, emphasized that the Authority will assist President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s food security program by starting dry season irrigated farming, which will guarantee increased food production.

She emphasized that the program showed the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation’s commitment to achieving this crucial goal and was a critical step in guaranteeing food security in Nigeria.

He also revealed that the establishment of a network of hydro-meteorological stations in key sites throughout the River Basin’s catchment states is being spearheaded by the Benin Owena River Basin Development Authority.
The Authority is committed to supporting President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s food security goal by implementing dry season irrigated farming, which would ensure higher food production, said Mrs. Mary Nwabuno Ononuju, Executive Director of Agricultural Services of the River Basin.

The project, she noted, highlighted the commitment of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation to accomplish this crucial aim and marked an important step towards guaranteeing food security in Nigeria.

The Minister, the Managing Director of the River Basin Development Authority, Mr. John Ochigbo, the Director of River Basin Operations and Inspectorate, and the Enogie of Oghobaghase, High Royal Highness Ileruwa Akenzua, planted saplings at the flag-off ceremony, which was the ceremony’s high point.

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