Kano farmers get N209 World Bank largess for agric projects

By The Citizen

Over three thousand farmers have benefited from the Commercial Agriculture Development Project (CADP) in Kano State. Of this number, 1,637 are males while 1,502 women benefited.

The beneficiaries received over N209 million from the World Bank-assisted project, according to a release from the global organisation's Nigeria office.

The World Bank Senior Operations Specialist and Task Team Leader of the project, Dr. Lucas Akapa, said at the opening ceremony of the 8th World Bank Project Implementation Mission to Kano state recently that CADP has recorded notable achievements, especially with regard to productivity, value-addition and marketed surplus.

'These achievements are directly attributable to increased adoption of improved technologies, increased access to improved infrastructure and enhanced capacity of the beneficiaries to effectively participate in project implementation,' said Akapa.

He also disclosed that, the project in Kano has promoted Draught Tolerant Maize (DTM) in the traditionally non-maize growing areas using and adoption of System of Rice Intensification (SRI) amongst rice farmers resulting to average yield increase from 2.7 metric tonnes to 3.6 metric tonnes per hectare.

In the area of rice processing, CADP, according to the Task Team Leader, has encouraged the adoption of flash-drying technology by rice processors reducing drying time from 12 hours to 3 hours per tonne, which increased the production efficiency of beneficiaries and the satisfaction of clients.

The project has also assisted beneficiaries to upgrade their cow breeds through the use of Artificial Insemination technology and improved feed supplement which resulted in the increase in the volume of milk from 2.15 litres to 4 litres per cow per day. That means increased income for the farmers.

In his remarks, the National Project Coordinator of CADP, Dr. Amin Babandi, thanked Kano state government for its support towards smooth implementation of the project in the state.

Babandi also informed the gathering that the main purpose of the mission was to gather inputs from the participating states for the restructuring of the project to align with their agricultural policies for enhanced performance and the required impact.

Earlier in her address, the Kano state Commissioner of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Hajiya Baraka Sani, reiterated the importance of the current restructuring of the project. 'If properly restructured, the project will get more support from stakeholders, especially the state governments which will in turn translate to more support for farmers,' said Sani.

The commissioner also implored the project to take advantage of Kano state irrigation facilities to boost commercial production of dry season rice and maize.

'Kano state is the home of irrigation farming in Nigeria; the state has seventeen functional dams. It is therefore, my hope and prayer that, CADP will take advantage of these potential to boost commercial production of dry season rice and maize,' said Sani.

Five farm access roads have been constructed at a total cost of over N465 million to open up inaccessible agrarian communities.

The project is expected to impact on 10,000 small and medium commercial farmers while many households will benefit indirectly through access to farm access roads, energy and market through spillover effects in the state. The CADP is piloted in Kano, Cross River, Enugu, Kaduna and Lagos States.

The $150 million World Bank assisted project, which commenced on July 30, 2009, is expected to close on December 31, 2014.