Many farmers in Bunkure Local Government Areas of Kano State came out on Sunday to witness the field demonstration of improved technology on rice farming.
The demonstration was part of measures to expose them to the international standard practice toward enhancing their productivity and improved livelihood.
The field demonstration was organised by Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) project in collaboration with Sasakawa Global 2000, an NGO and Kano State Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (KNARDA).
Speaking to newsmen shortly after the demonstration, the APPEALS project Coordinator, Alhaji Hassan Ibrahim said the demonstration was aimed at showcasing the rice farming activities in international standard to local farmers in the area.
He said the event would enable the local farmers juxtapose it with their traditional farming with low outputs and the need to adopt the improved technology toward boosting their productivity.
He said the demonstration, which was being carried out across the state was also targeted at improving value addition across the agriculture value chain including production, processing and marketing in rice, tomato and wheat farming.
“We are in Bunkure to expose farmers to the result of demonstration conducted in collaboration with Sasakawa and KNARDA to expose the rice farmers to international standard of agricultural production for them to compare it with their local way of farming.
“As you can see from their revelations, they have experienced significant improvement on their farms when they experimented the improved technology after training them and all of them are willing to adopt it,” Ibrahim said.
In his remarks, the Country Director of Sasakawa Global 2000, Prof. Sani Miko commended the “tremendous” achievements recorded by the APPEAL project within the short period.
He said the demonstration would enable farmers to share the lessons they learnt from advice given to them and how they applied the production packages forwarded to them, adding that such had helped them in enhancing their productivity.
Sani however identified inadequate skills and knowledge, lack of planning materials, poor resource base for investment as the major challenges of farmers in Kano and urged the government and other relevant stakeholders to bridge the gap.
“We don’t want to be giving loan to people who feel the money is a national cake, it is something that is given to you to boost your ability to invest, so when you sell it, pay back, the payment you do will enable to others to get the loan, ” he said.
Miko also urged the government at federal and state levels to always ensure timely release of their intervention such as seeds and fertilisers among other farm imputs to farmers to boost their productivity.
“All government interventions to farmers should start early enough around January, February, so that by March, April, they should start releasing whatever support they have for farmers, so whenever the rain comes they will start production.
“But if they miss one of the normal time to plant, they will see the repercussion at the end of the season, when you give farmers imputs late around July, August, September, the end of the support is in the market, they will sell it out because the use is no longer there or they have to wait till next season,” he explained.
One of the farmers, Bala Bunkure decribed the demonstration as ‘an eye-opener’, promising to key into its adoption and sustainability.
“Before now, we hardly get reasonable gains after harvest due to low outputs, even though we have not harvested our production, the obvious greenish nature of our planted rice and its germinating seed variety are a clear indications that we will experience bumper harvest this year,“ he said.