By: Jethro katung
Kano State governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, on Thursday, launched multiple, unprecedented agricultural empowerment interventions worth millions of Naira, under the Kano State Agro-Pastoral Development Project, KSADP, targeting over 14, 250 beneficiaries, from the 44 local government areas of the state. The empowerment initiatives include livestock Fattening and Reproduction scheme for 3,000 women and youth, support to 1,000 youths on Crop residue utilization, support to 1,000 small scale commercial fodder producers as well as training and support to 200 Community Animal Extension Workers.
Another remarkable intervention is the award of scholarships to 115 Ordinary National Diploma, Higher National Diploma, post graduate and PhD students from the State, studying livestock biased courses, especially milk processing, rangeland management and extension in various tertiary institutions. Also flagged-off was the KSADP/KNARDA Entrepreneurship support to 440 contract spraymen. Others are provision of input support to 5,350 smallholder commercial farmers under the KSADP-SAA crops value chain cooperation, provision of agricultural mechanization pre and post harvest equipment to 85 farmer groups, comprising 2,125 people as well as donation of starter kits to 1,000 small holder farmers for dry season farming under the KSADP-KNARDA legumes value chain intervention. The initiatives are in conformity with KSADP’s theory of change, which seeks to transform smallholder farming to commercially viable business by developing commodity value chains, in order to reduce rural poverty, food insecurity and unemployment.
Speaking during the event, Governor Ganduje said: “today’s combined event marks a major milestone in our strides towards empowering smallholder farmers to improve their incomes, to better their livelihoods and to enhance food security”. “We believe that by increasing access to agricultural services including extension education, inputs as well as equipment, we are not only alleviating poverty but also building our economy in a sustainable way”. “Beyond producing more food, agricultural interventions such as the one we are launching today are aimed at minimizing idleness especially among our women and youth, with its attendant implications such as rural-urban migration, drug abuse and involvement in criminal activities”. The governor who was happy that the KSADP intervention, with financing from the Islamic Development Bank and the Lives and Livelihood Funds, focused largely on women and youth due to the conviction that they are strong factors in rural, agricultural and overall economic development.
He urged beneficiaries of the agricultural intervention programmes to make good use of the support given to them and to embrace better farming systems introduced by his administration, with the support of the KSADP and other donor funded projects, to drive away poverty and make the state’s economy less dependent on grants from the Federal government. Tukur Jafaru Rabi’u, who spoke on behalf of the beneficiaries, expressed profound appreciation to the Islamic Development Bank, the Lives and Livelihood Funds and the government of Kano state for supporting them to attain improved production and by implication, improved standard of living.
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