Stakeholders in agricultural sector in Bauchi have urged the state government to scale up investment in irrigation farming to encourage food production.
They made the call during the 2023 Interactive Forum of World Food Day organised by a group, Fahimta Women and Youth Development Initiative (FAWOYDI), on Wednesday in Bauchi.
The exercise is being organised with support of the Actionaid Nigeria.
The stakeholders said irrigation activities could change the fortunes of peasant farmers, encourage productivity and enhance food security, hence the need to improve investment in the sub sector.
The FAWOYDI Executive Director, Mrs Dinatu Daniel, said access to clean water is a fundamental human right, and plays crucial role in ensuring food security.
According to Daniel, availability of clean water is essential for agricultural activities, food production and the overall wellbeing of the people.
She said that contaminated water sources caused waterborne diseases, malnutrition and other health complications that affect food security and overall human development.
Daniel said that enhancing access to clean water could improve sanitation and hygiene practices as well as reduce the risk of disease transmission and promote better nutrition.
“There is a need to seriously consider investing heavily in irrigation farming as it has the potential to boost the country’s food security that will translate into meaningful development.
“Irrigation allows for off-season cultivation thereby extending the production period.
“When combined with storage and preservation capacities, it can allows a community to provide off-season produce at distinctly more profitable prices,” she said.
Hajiya Marka Abass, the Coordinator, Smallholder Women Farmers of Nigeria (SWOFON), said that women farmers represent about 80 per cent of agricultural production, and 60 per cent of agricultural processing activities in the country.
She said the organisation advocated for the adoption of budget lines to fund implementation of the National Gender Policy by the state government.
Also speaking, Mr Isyaku Hashimu, Principal Chemical Engineer, Bauchi State Urban Water Sewerage Corporation (BSUWSC) warned residents against indescriminate dumping of waste in water bodies and drains to avert water contamination.
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