Niger State needs help from the World Bank-sponsored Fadama programme to reactivate 17 irrigation schemes and improve mechanisation to encourage youths and women involvement in agriculture, an official said.
Dr Ibrahim Musa, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, made the statement in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Thursday.
Musa said Fadama had encouraged irrigation farming by revitalising some irrigation projects.
He said agricultural production all-year-round could not be achieved by relying only on rainfall.
“In Niger State, we have about 17 irrigation projects and almost all of them are in dilapidated states but Fadama has reactivated some of the irrigation schemes and our duty is to continue from where they stopped.
“World Bank should help us to reactivate our 17 irrigation schemes in the state which has the capacity to employ over 60,000 people.
“Our 17 irrigation schemes have the capacity for about 60,000 hectares, it is large enough. If each person is to cultivate on a hectare of land, we will be mopping up about 60,000 of them into the agricultural value chain.”
According to him, World Bank is expected to assist in mechanisation in the next phase of Fadama to make agricultural activities easy for farmers.