The Federal Government has revealed plans to back research on irrigation infrastructure, to enable farmers enjoy improved cultivation and produce more to ensure food sufficiency. With the Institute of Agriculture Research (IAR) as the crux in unlocking the possibilities, Prof. Fagugi Ishaku, Executive Director of the IAR, revealed that the government was keen on investing more funds in enhancing research on improved irrigation system, to supplement rain fed agricultural production. Prof. Ishaku pointed that the development would boost the productivity of farmers across the country and fast-track the drive to fully commercialize Nigeria’s agriculture, as well as prime the sector as the mainstay of the nation’s economy.
He said: “We cannot do without improving and exploiting the potential of irrigation agriculture and this has now inspired us to focus more on irrigation research work that will improve the productivity of our conventional crops during the dry season, just as in the rainy season.” Lauding the efforts of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (Ni- MET) through its recently released Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP), Ishaku noted that the report would assist the institute in its blueprint on confronting the varying rainfall patterns and adopt the same for profitable cultivation. Agro Nigeria had recently reported NiMET’s predictions on rainfall patterns to aid the year’s planting season. The agency had warned farmers in the country to avoid planting after likely false start rainfall expected in the year. Against this backdrop, Ishaku said that the IAR would devise new technologies that would stem climate change realities, be it too much pattern of rainfall or shorter rainfall that will come with droughts or either ways. Nigerian Tribune