By Jimoh Babatunde
Female wheat farmers in Giyamusu, Ajingi Local Government Area of Kano State have been empowered with irrigation equipment by the Crown Flour Mill (CFM) Limited as part of its ongoing strategic investment drive to support Nigeria’s food production self-sufficiency and food security
Speaking during the presentation of the high-pressure water pumping machine, Rauda Musa Umar, Wheat Development Programme Officer, CFM, said the realization of the productivity potential of women smallholder farmers in the country has largely been constrained by poor access to land and farming tools, especially irrigation equipment.
“Access to modern irrigation infrastructure on the farms boosts the yield of crops. Wheat crops yield higher returns when properly irrigated.
“The presentation of the pumping machines to the women smallholder farmers marked a needed upturn in women farmers’ aspiration to scale as well as support and meaningfully contribute to the ongoing Federal Government agricultural development programmes.
She said the organisation is committed to assisting the Government to achieve its food security and economic diversification agenda.
According to her, “We will keep providing the necessary farming support and modern agronomic capacity-building training to local wheat farmers to boost wheat farming practices and yields in the country. Our focus, of course, is food security and improving livelihoods.”
Dr Salim Saleh President Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria, said, “The various intervention programmes implemented by Crown Flour Mill Limited are laudable. The presentation of these farming equipment to our women will go a long way to boost the women farmers’ productivity and raise the economic contribution levels of the women.”
“Let me seize this opportunity to encourage other corporate organisations and well-meaning Nigerians, especially those operating in the agric value chain, to emulate Crown Flour Mill Limited in developing and boldly executing impactful agricultural development programmes that will reverberate across the local landscape,” he added.
The recipients of the farming irrigation equipment are Lauratu Kassim, a 40-year-old wheat farmer with three years of wheat farming experience; Maryam Ahmad, who has been practising crop cultivation for many years but went fully into wheat farming four years ago and Atika Shuaibu, another 40-year-old female farmer, who started wheat farming two years ago. Shuaibu owns a very big farm where she plants rice and other crops and a wheat farm but has no pumping machine for irrigation.
Hasiya Muhammad, who has had to rely on her husband’s farming equipment to sustain operations on her farmland, and 40-year-old Liti Audu are the other beneficiaries of the farming infrastructure support.
Atika Shuaibu, who spoke on behalf of the other women smallholder farmers, expressed their appreciation for the delivery of the irrigation facility.
She said, “I am so, so happy to receive the machine. With the irrigation machine, most of us will stop hiring pumping machines to water our crops. We will also have a bigger and better harvest. I thank Crown Flour Mill for this assistance.”