The Sokoto Rima River Basin Development Authority (SRBDA) says it has hired out 60 motorised soil-tillers to irrigation farmers in the four states within the basin under its irrigation project.
Prof. Ahmed Ala, the Director, Agricultural Services, disclosed this in Sokoto.
Ala said that the initiative was a prelude to Tractor Hire Scheme initiated by the authority to boost irrigation across the four states – Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi and Kastina.
He said the measure was aimed at promoting modern farming techniques and engaging farmers on more commercial ventures that would yield more harvest.
The director said at present, SRBDA was conducting surface irrigation farming in its eight irrigation sites in Goronyo, Bakalori, Zauro. Shagari and Jibia across the four SRBDA operating states.
“We can allow them to maintain canals with payment of royalties. With more inputs and good irrigation practices, farmers can cultivate across all the seasons,” he said.
He said the World Bank, through the Transforming Irrigation Management in Nigeria (TRIMING) project, has renovated irrigation lands, while the Goronyo site was being prepared by the federal goverment to facilitate smooth activities.
“When the basin functions properly, it has the capacity to produce rice and other items that will contribute high percentage in feeding the nation.
“SRBDA has 1, 207, 566 gross hectares; 23, 129 hectares under Irrigation with 36, 568 net hectares,” he said.