Nigerian institute calls for more investment in irrigation farming to ramp up production
The National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS), one of Nigeria’s agricultural research institutes on Thursday called on the government to scale up investment in irrigation farming to ramp up agricultural production and avert food crises.
Speaking at a press conference in Kaduna state, north Nigeria, Emmanuel Ikani, executive director for the institute responsible for the development, collation, evaluation and dissemination of proven agricultural innovations in the country, said the investment would increase production.
He said it has become imperative to abandon the idea of farming only during the rainy season which could not continue to avert the negative challenge.
The expert told reporters that elsewhere there was nothing like farming in the rainy season alone.
“Our agriculture is still rain-fed, but we have the facility and water resources all over the country for irrigation,” he said.
Ikani appealed for a strong political will to move water from rivers and streams to farms.
He also regretted that many farmers in the northeast, parts of northwest and north-central could not go to their farms due to insecurity.
“Farmers are endangered at the moment which is a hint to a looming scarcity of food in Nigeria,” Ikani warned.
Doyin Salami, chairman of the presidential Economic Advisory Council, told a virtual national economic outlook event in January that Nigeria’s national import of food amounted to 1.85 trillion naira (about 4.9 billion U.S. dollars) between January and September in 2020, a 62 percent increase when compared to the same period in 2019. Enditem