Nigeria’s River Basins To Host Graduate Farmer Training Scheme.
The Nigerian government has announced plans to launch a graduate farmer initiative in 12 River Basins in the country. The scheme is a aimed at training 50 graduates in each of the 12 River Basins in various areas of agricultural production.
Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, announced the plan in Lokoja, during a visit to the governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.
The minister says the Federal Executive Council has approved the revitalisation of River Basins to support the policy thrust of agriculture of the Buhari administration.
He said the initiative is also to make agriculture very attractive to Nigeria’s teeming unemployed graduates and integrate them into the business of agriculture.
According to Adamu part of the measures taken so far by the ministry of water resources to revive the River Basin is the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Songhai farm based in Benin Republic for recommendations on river basin operations.
He noted that the historical importance of the state and confluence of rivers Niger and Benue in Lokoja has made it strategic to the economic diversification drive of the present administration.
“Our main mission to Kogi state is to launch our programme on Graduate Agriculture Scheme through the various River Basin Authorities that we have, which among them are quite a number of large dams that support irrigation and even small hydro schemes that have been underutilized for many years”, he said.
The minister disclosed that modalities and criteria have been designed to select graduates-participants, reiterating that the scheme would be a continuous one as graduates will be trained in batches.
The Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello in his response, commended the efforts of the federal government to reduce the level of unemployment through the scheme, describing it as timely especially when the water level is almost becoming alarming.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Chief Simon Achuba said no nation can boast of sufficient food production without modern irrigation system, adding that Kogi state is blessed with water which can make farmers to engage in all-season agricultural practices.