The National Programme Coordinator, Climate Change Adaptation and Agribusiness Support Programme, (CASP), Alhaji Muhammad Lawal Idah has said that the programme is empowering rural farmers in northern Nigeria.
Idah who was speaking in an interview at the just concluded National Agric Show in Abuja, said CASP is a value chain development project sponsored by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
He said the programme is operating in seven northern states of Borno, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara. “It is a grassroots based programme, that is why we are operating in 104 local government areas and 727 village areas,” he said adding that the farmers that are participating in the programme are already enjoying increased yield.
He said that CASP is promoting seven value chain crops, one for each state based on comparative advantage. “Our emphasis is on climate change adaptation, we are promoting crops that can adapt to and are climate change resilient,” he said.
“We take climate change into consideration in all our operations. We collaborate with institutions that matter in climate change, like the National Meteorological Agency (NiMET). We take seasonal rainfall predictions down to our communities, down to our village areas. Now our farmers know when they are to plant, they know the duration of the rain and that allows them to plan effectively.”
The IFAD/CASP National Programme Coordinator said apart from promoting climate change resilient crops, the programme is also involved in promoting soil and water conservation.
According to him, “We are partnering with the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) on soil management and water conservation for agricultural production in climate areas. They promote soil and water conservation techniques within the programme area. This has rehabilitated our degraded and marginal land and that is now helping our farmers to improve their productivity on sustainable basis.”
Speaking on the impact of the programme on the communities where it is operating, Idah said many of the farmers are already adopting the technique of soil and water conservation introduced by ICARDA. “Land which was not productive is now fully covered with crops,” he said.
Source: LEADERSHIP Nigeria Newspapers