How Fadama Is Turning Kogi Into Rice Production Hub

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How Fadama Is Turning Kogi Into Rice Production Hub, In 2014, the World Bank in collaboration with the federal and Kogi State governments began the implementation of the FADAMA III Additional Financing (FADAMA III-AF) project aimed at increasing production of certain crops.

The programme particularly focused on improving the productivity of farmers who are into rice, cassava and sorghum production, amongst others.

In Kogi, the project from inception has been supporting the production of cassava but recently extended its intervention to rice production in the state.

A team from the World Bank and Federal Government was in the state recently for the 8th World Bank/FGN Mission to monitor the progress of the implementation of the Fadama III-AF projects in the state.

The team visited the various farms being supported under the Fadama III-AF projects to interact with farmers and to also see firsthand, the successes and/or challenges of the projects.

At the 120-hectare rice farm at Ogba in Bassa Local Government Area of the state, a cross section of farmers expressed happiness over the bumper harvests they recorded this year as a result of support they got from Fadama III-AF.

Alkali Dan Usman, one of the Fadama rice farmers at Ogba cluster said he recorded bumper harvest this year compared to the previous years.

He said he was able to harvest about 27 bags of rice paddy from his one hectare farm as against 19 bags he used to harvest previously.

According to him, the improvement in rice yield was due to the provision of improved seedlings, mechanisation, fertilisers and other chemicals as well as training on best agronomic practices provided for them under the Fadama III-AF project.

He appealed to Fadama project authority to provide them with a tractor in the cluster to boost their rice cultivation and production.

Another farmer, Haruna Kashim said Fadama III-AF project has opened their eyes to better ways of farming rice.

“There is a great difference now because we had been farming in ignorance without applying fertiliser and chemicals. Fadama has taught us a lot and we are recording bumper harvests than we used to do,” he said.

Kashim, who hitherto harvested between 12 and 13 bags of paddy rice from his farm, said he now harvests almost double what he used to get in the past.

He however expressed worry over the activities of herdsmen who usually allowed their cattle to feed on their crops, adding that many farmers had to keep vigil on their farms to ensure their crops are not eaten up by cattle.

He appealed to the government to address the situation so as to avoid clashes between farmers and pastoralists.

On his part, Mayisa Dangra while commending the impact of the project on the people, appealed that rice threshers should be provided for them to ease their harvest and also avoid post harvest losses.

How Fadama Is Turning Kogi Into Rice Production HubThe Kogi State Project Coordinator of Fadama III Additional Financing, Mr Paul Ogunmola, has said a total of 5,750 farmers have benefited from the project since its inception in the state.

He said that a total of 5,750 hectares of cassava and rice farms have been cultivated across the state using mechanisation with improved seeds and cuttings.

According to him, about 50% direct beneficiaries had their income increased by at least 40% while an average yield of 22.5 ton/ha has been recorded under the Fadama III AF intervention in the state.

Mr Ogunmola said one of the challenges facing the project were the clashes between farmers and pastoralists, adding that they have lost two Fadama farmers to such clashes in recent times.

The Task Team Leader of the Fadama III AF, Dr Adetunji Oredipe, commended the Kogi State government for its support and commitment in ensuring the success of the Fadama III AF projects being implemented across the state.

He said the focus of the World Bank and the Federal Government at this point was to ensure that all the projects initiated under the Fadama III-AF in the state are fully completed before the end of the programme in 2019 and to also ensured that all the investments made so far under the programme are sustained by the beneficiaries thereafter.

As you may be aware, this programme was designed to end in December 2017 but because of our additional intervention in the north-east, it has been extended for another period of two years. What we will be doing is to begin to look at how we will ensure that all the projects we have initiated are fully completed,” he said.

According to him, attention would be given to capacity building of beneficiaries to enable continue on their own when the project winds up.

On his part, a consultant with the World Bank, Dr Oyeshola Oyebanji, expressed delight with the successes recorded in rice production in the state.

“I was impressed to see 120 hectares contiguous farm which shows that a lot of support service can be provided to the farmers here in terms of land preparation and post harvest services like threshing.

“We have interacted with the production group and have discussed with them on how to improve their production,” he said.

Oyabanji said there was need to build the capacity of the farmers through demonstration farms by engaging Advisory Services and Input Consultants (ASIC) who would put the farmers through and then the Extension Workers take over from there.

“Let them establish demonstration plots and show them the correct ways of planting and let them compare it with the way they are doing it. When they see the difference, they will adopt it.

“I am also going to recommend that motorised threshers and rice reapers be procured for them at the users’ fee to reduce cost of harvesting. This support is to further enhance production,” he added.

The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Kehinde Oloruntoba, while receiving the team, said the Fadama projects have empowered many rural farmers/communities since inception and commended the Federal Government and World Bank for the initiative.

On his part, the state Commissioner for Finance, Alhaji Asiwaju Idris Asiru, assured the team that the state government remained committed in meeting its counterpart obligations for the success of the programme.