By Sarah NEGEDU
The FCT Administration has expressed its readiness to key into the Water Users Association, WUA, initiative of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, aimed at providing a shared Irrigation System for farmers in select states of the country.
Minister of State, FCT, Dr. Ramatu Aliyu, stated this at the North Central Regional Workshop on the establishment and strengthening of Water Users Association for Public Irrigation Schemes held recently in Ilorin, Kwara State.
The WUA initiative is part of the ministry’s strategy of putting in place a shared Irrigation System in which farmers have larger control of irrigation system for farming activities.
Aliyu, who was represented by the Acting Secretary of the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Mallam Ishaq Sadeeq, said the FCT Administration is keen to key into the imitative as it will benefit the large percentage of FCT farmers, particularly those along the flood plains towards ensuring farming activities all year round.
A statement by the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat of the FCTA, quoted the minister as saying the Administration will take the opportunity of the programme to work with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources towards having a better understanding of the project with the view of mobilising the participation of FCT farmers in the programme.
“The concept of Participatory Irrigation Management system through the establishment of Water Users Association is no doubt a good initiative which will help in building the capacities of farmers on sustainable management of Irrigation systems to facilitate all year production.
“For us in the FCT Administration, we are always ready to assist our farmers in any possible way and so, as we get back to Abuja we will immediately engage in further discussions on the matter towards keying into it”.
In his keynote address, the Minister of Water Resources Engr. Suleiman Adamu, disclosed that the workshop was organised to bring stakeholders together to brainstorm on the implementation of the programme at regional levels towards addressing the challenges faced by farmers.
He appreciated the World Bank for funding the programme through the Trimming Project which will help in both funding and capacity building for farmers making use of Irrigation projects.
He expressed the readiness of the Ministry to work with relevant agencies towards strengthening the project towards achieving self-sufficiency in food production and improved livelihood of farmers.
Stakeholders from the North Central states of Kwara, Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau, Niger and the FCT participated in the workshop.