NIGERIA: FAO focuses on water-saving drip irrigation
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is granting $350,000 in funding to Nigeria. The funds are intended to promote the practice of drip irrigation in the country, which uses less water and electricity.
The Federal Government of Nigeria is promoting drip irrigation in agriculture to conserve its water resources. Abuja is supported in this approach by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), which has just allocated $350,000 in funding. For the international organisation, this is a technical support to Nigeria’s irrigation policy.
The project, which will be implemented until December 2022, concerns Niger State in particular. “The project will identify and replace flood irrigation systems with water and electricity efficient drip irrigation systems,” says Suleiman Hussein Adamu, Nigeria’s Federal Minister for Water Resources. To achieve this goal, the completion of the feasibility and detailed design study for the implementation of the drip irrigation system is necessary. Officials from the Nigerian Ministry of Water Resources will also support the process of installing these systems through to commissioning and testing at the project sites.
The US$350,000 funding is part of the Technical Cooperation Programme for FAO member countries. In addition to providing modern irrigation systems to farmers, the funding will help build the institutional capacity of existing river basin authorities in Nigeria.
To save water resources, the Federal Government of Nigeria is also promoting centre-pivot irrigation. This is a form of overhead irrigation, replicating artificial rainfall. It is suitable for flat land like that found in northern Nigeria. However, it is not suitable for growing certain cereals such as rice, which require a lot of water. In 2019, Kebbi and Zamfara states benefited from nine centre pivot irrigation systems. The new facilities are improving agricultural production in the Sokoto-Rima river basin.