UNDP-GEF hosts Agriculture Greenfield Day in Gombe State


Rebecca Mu’azu, Gombe

The Project of the United Nations Development and the Global Environment facility has held an Agriculture Green Field Day for the ten beneficiary communities in Kaltungo and Balanga Local government Areas of Gombe State.

It was organised to showcase the practical demonstrations of the Rice Intensification programme being demonstrated in the ten project beneficiary communities.

The essence is to bring farmers and stakeholders together to see practically what is being demonstrated in the field, especially at the green stage, when the crop in the field are in their bloom.

This will give stakeholders the opportunity to compare the farmers’ practice and the demonstration practice being adopted by the project.

The Project Desk Officer at the Gombe State Agriculture Development Programme, Mr. Maina Jonathan, said because of what was being demonstrated and how impressed the Gombe Government Officials present at the event in Potwana, Kaltungo local Government Area were, an official memo was being prepared to replicate the project in other parts of the state.

“Rice intensification, we are talking about a system whereby principally, is done under irrigation, but you can still do it under wet season if the rainfall does establish and is good. This is a system whereby you do your normal seedbed, raise seedlings and two to three weeks in the nursery, you now transplant it in the main farm, where a single rice stand is being planted per hole in a distance of 25 centimetres per 25 centimetres,” Mr. Jonathan said.

According to him, the system is important to a rice farmer because there was no wastage of seeds and only healthy ones are transplanted, which from one tiller, a farmer could have between 70 to 100 tillers.

Mr. Jonthan cited an example with a half-hectare plot, where only 2kg of Faro-44 Rice was used and transplanted in the whole half a hectare of land, against the old planting method, which required 60kg of rice to cover the same quantity of land.

The Commissioner of Agriculture, Mr. Mohammed Magaji Gettado, felt impressed with the transplanting method after comparing the demonstration and the old methods by farmers and promised that the counterpart for the project would be released to take the campaign to the rest of the state.

He pledged the government’s commitment in protecting farm produce this year from destruction by cattle, against what was obtained in the past, where after toiling for months, cattle from nowhere will invade a farm and destroy it.

According to him, the government will not allow the suffering of farmers during the rainy season to be in vain.

“Any cow found destroying a farm, even if it is a domestic cow, will be impounded, no matter who the owner is. Atimes you hear that the destruction was done by a domestic cow. Let me make it clear, even if it is a domestic cow, it will be impounded,” said Mr. Gettado.

 The project is sponsored by the Global Environment Facility and

implemented by the United Nations Development Programme,

UNDP to enhance long-term sustainability and resilience of food

production systems in Northern Nigeria.

It is a Climate-Smart Agriculture programme for selected farmers

in ten communities in two local government areas of each of the

six states, with the ten communities in Balanga and Kaltungo

Local Government Areas.

The objective is the adoption of an integrated approach to fostering Sustainability and Resilience for Food Security in the Savannah Zones of Northern Nigeria, so as to enhance food security in the country.

Consequently, the Project Coordinator of the UNDP-GEF Project in Gombe State, Mrs. Abigail Fada, said the Framers Greenfield Day was hosted in order for everyone present to learn best farm practices and replicate them in their own areas so that by next year, more of the successes recorded would be on display.

This year, the project in Gombe State is demonstrating three crops of Rice, Soya Beans and Groundnuts in 8 of the ten benefiting communities, with two of the communities, Gelengu and Nassarawo in Dandiya, opting for the demonstration of maize.

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