Mr Adeyinka Adenopo, Deputy Director, Pressurised Irrigation System, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, has called for the adoption of irrigation farming to achieve food security in the country.
Speaking in Abuja, Adenopo said this would boost government efforts at making Nigeria self reliant in food production and export.
“We realise that if we must diversify into agriculture, we cannot depend on rain-fed agriculture. It will take us to nowhere, why, rain is concentrated within a particular period. Especially in the north, it is so short that you may not derive the maximum benefit of it. Most of the water will just get lost without been put into profitable, productive use. So irrigated agriculture, as embraced by this government particularly, will really compensate for the losses we have had in agriculture.”
He said that government must take deliberate measures at stepping up irrigation agriculture to attain food security in the country.
Adenopo said this was why the Federal Government began the implementation of a blueprint to reposition the river basins towards meeting its full potentials.
He advised that Nigeria must duplicate other Nations in exploiting irrigation agriculture to meet domestic food needs of its people.
“As big as we are, we cannot compare ourselves with other places. In Senegal, only one irrigation scheme irrigates 130,000 hectares, the whole of Nigeria is not irrigating more than 70,000 hectares. That is why we are intensifying efforts in irrigation, so that we will be able to feed ourselves and also generate foreign earnings by exporting our crops.”