By Haruna Aliyu Usman, Birnin Kebbi
An associate professor of agromics from the Kebbi state University of science and technology who is also the dean faculty of agriculture mallam Adamu Muhammad has described the present system of farming in Nigeria as mundane and policies put in place as discouraging.
Professor Adamu who spoke exclusively to vanguard in Birnin Kebbi said before oil boom in the country agriculture has been the economic main stay where cocoa from the south, groundnut from the north and timber from the west were used to explore the oil found in the country, therefore agriculture according to him suppose to be a business not for mere consumption, he added that serious countries who formulated good technology driven policies on agriculture and implemented same are exporting their products to europe and African nations, he cited Isreal as country sorrounded by desert but has been able through modern farming technics to facilitate growth of cash crops thereby creating economic value chain.
Adamu explained that,the claim made that Kebbi can feed the nation is true but poor or none implementation of agricultural policies largely due to lack of sincerity from the policy makers and those handling the true implementation failed to meet the expectation of people of kebbi state and the nation as whole,the dean who affirmed the anchor borrowers scheme was a good initiative that can truly feed the nation if properly handled lamented that it lacks political will that will guarantee its success.
He stated that with our massive fada land that streches from Argungu to Birnin Kebbi to Suru is sufficient to produce enough rice for public consumption and can attract huge revenue to the state and Nigeria, despite the fact that cultivable lands are becoming scarce due human developments modern agriculture he said requires not much of land much of a technology and determination since improved seeds are now used to boost bumper harvest with little lands.
He further said that,after the collapse of the anchor borrowers because it has not been able to reach large real farmers,to bring his expertise to bear his team of agronomist submitted a scheme which they tagged “feed the future” to the state government after a through investigation on the main problems of real farmers in the state the blue print is also embedded with practicable ideas on modern farming for National food sufficiency but is yet to get the attention of the Kebbi governor Senator Atiku Abubakar Bagudu.
Professor Adamu also lauded the attempt made by the federal government to build earth dam at Argungu through to Zauro but was dropped due to huge pressure from the people of the area who no longer trust government on payments of compensation,he said if that dam had been constructed not only Kebbi Nigeria would have attain food sufficiency.
He urged local farmers to always use natural disasters like flood to reduce the burden of watering during irrigation farming by storing the water through local storage facilities, he urged the state and the federal government to engage agricultural expert in decision making and during the implementation period as only that can solve the problem of middle men(politicians)from meddling into farming, he lamented that, Nigeria is 30years behind in modern farming in the world.