The National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) has distributed 500 pumping machines to smallholder farmers in Katsina State, North-West Nigeria, to boost irrigation farming and increase food production in the country.
The team, led by Prince Paul Ikonne, the Executive Secretary of NALDA, distributed the machines to beneficiaries from Daura Local Government Area at Nalda’s Integrated Farm Estate in Suduje, Daura Local Government Area of the State.
During the presentation, Ikonne charged the over 100 beneficiaries on ground to use the machines to boost their irrigation activities.
The Executive Secretary warned them against selling the machines as it’s for their benefit and that of their community:
“These machines are not for you to go sell. No, but they are for you to use and better the growth of your farms and earn more income for yourselves and family.”
One of the beneficiaries, a retired technical college teacher-turned-farmer, Abashe Ali Daura, who engages in both wet season and dry season farming said the pumping machines would go a long way in improving and expanding his farm.
“I demarcated some part of my farm land for irrigation purposes. This machine would contribute a lot to the improvement of my irrigation farming where I farm vegetables and fruits like guava and I thank the federal government for this support,” he said.
A female beneficiary, Mrs. Murja Ahmed, a vegetable farmer, who spoke in Hausa language, was overwhelmed by the gesture:
“Allihamdullahi, we thank the Almighty God for these machines the government has given us. It would really help us in supporting our children in their education and other things.
“And by God’s grace with the aid of this machine I would be more committed and put in more efforts into the dry season farming” she said.
Project Site Inspection
The Executive Secretary, Prince Paul Ikonne, also led the NALDA team to inspect some of its ongoing projects in the State.
The project includes a cattle market, a vegetable market and grain storage warehouses, all in Maiadua Local Government Area of the State.
The cattle and vegetable markets in Maiadua would serve both Nigerians and Nigeriens, who trade on a daily basis in the area as the town borders Nigeria and Niger.
The cattle market boasts of open shops already finished, a borehole and an office building, while the vegetable market has partitioned shops that would be allocated to traders.
These new structures would not only give the market a face lift, but would protect traders from harsh weather conditions as their existing shops do not have roof covers.
When commissioned and allocated, traders would be able to carry out their activities without having to worry about rain and harsh sunlight.
Another facility being constructed by NALDA that was inspected was the grain storage facility also located in Maiadua Local Government Area, which would help boost grain production in the area as farmers would have access to a well equipped storage facility for their grains until they are ready to sell.
Some of these projects are due for commissioning soon.