The Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh on Monday 8th August, 2018 at Makasauro village in Katsina State performed the flagg- off Ceremony of erosion prone, farm connected market roads and rehabilitation of degraded rangeland, cutting across 7 states in the Savannah Belt of the country.
The benefiting communities of the project being implemented under the IFAD- Climate Change Adaptation and Agribusiness Support Programme (CASP) are spread across the 7 States of the country namely: Borno, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara states.
The project which will be completed this year will undertake the rehabilitation of 22 rural roads with support structures such as drainages, culverts, rails and drifts covering a distance of 59.09km across the participating states.
Speaking at the occasion, an elated Chief Ogbeh declared that the Federal Government is deliberately giving impetus to rural development because of the critical role that rural infrastructures play in unlocking of the vast and enormous potentials of the rural areas.
“What we are witnessing today, is part of a series of rural infrastructure build-up across the country under the present administration. Rural development such as this one is critical to the productivity of the rural people.” The Minister said.
The Minister further enjoined the people to own the project once completed in order not to allow the projects deteriorate, suffer disrepair or experience short life span. “the road requires maintenance in order to extend its life span. In this connection, I will strongly urge the benefitting communities to form a road maintenance group which will assist in simple repairs such as filling of potholes, cleaning of drainages and other small repairs.”
The Minister announced that his Ministry under the CASP Programme will develop a total of 4,000 hectares of Rangeland to cater for at least 3,000 herdsmen and carry out a total of 243km earthen roads targeted at 7 million rural dwellers beneficiaries across the participating States.
The intervention also include provision of 997 solar-powered boreholes; apart from water harvesting, soil and water conservation infrastructure and establishment of 3,000ha of community woodlots, shelter belt and afforestation meant to stem the fast depleting vegetation in the participating states and touch the lives of about 30,000 vulnerable women and men.
Highlights of the Minister’s visit apart from the official flag off the programme is the distribution of Contract Award Letters to Contractors and the broadcast planting of improved fodder seeds in Madobi village, a development to be replicated in the 7 participating states as well as concrete initiative of developing pasture for cattle thereby reducing farmers/herders clashes.
The Minister during the visit paid courtesy visits to the Governor of the state – Hon. Bello Masari and the Emirs of Daura and Katsina respectively.
Governor Masari who commended the efforts of the Federal Government on agriculture disclosed that farmers in the state who have keyed into the Rice Revolution of the government are doing well to the extent that more than 80℅ of those who performed this year’s Hajj are self-sponsored farmers unlike before.
The Emir of Daura made a request for citing of a rice mill in the state, development of more dams for irrigation and extension of subsidised mechanised facilities to farmers in the State which the Minister promised to look into.
The Emir of Katsina urged the government to do more on security and urged leaders at all levels to show more commitment and sincerity to the course of national development, discipline and be tolerant of alternative views.