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IsDB, LLF FUNDED PROJECT: KSADP (NGA1007) DRIVES NUTRITION SECURITY INITIATIVE IN KANO STATE, NIGERIA

Achieving food and nutrition security in the context of a growing population, climate change, worsening economic condition and poor diet among other variables, is a major challenge for Kano, Nigeria’s most populated state. The nutrition problem is largely due to poverty and lack of awareness on importance of wholesome meals.

Surprisingly, during wet and dry seasons in the state, thousands of tonnes of food such beans, soya beans, millet, sorghum, groundnut, vegetables etc are harvested locally. These foods contain all the essential nutrients necessary for healthy growth and development.

This underlined the need for Kano state Agro-Pastoral Development Project, KSADP, in collaboration with Sasakawa Africa Association, SAA, to initiate a special programme to support people in the state to ensure sustainable agriculture as well as adequate and balanced diet consumption.

KSADP, funded by the Islamic Development Bank and the Lives and Livelihoods Funds, LLF, seeks to reduce poverty, strengthen food and nutrition insecurity as well as address natural resource degradation, consistent with the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Kano State Development Plan II 2016-2025 (KSDP II) as well as the Federal Government of Nigeria‘s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020 and Agriculture Promotion Policy 2016-2020.

Under, the KSADP/SAA partnership, 377 Extension Agents and Community Based Facilitators (farmers trained to become focal points in each community to help improve agricultural productivity through dissemination of knowledge and skills), were trained on nutrition, to subsequently coach about 114, 000 smallholder farmers in 20 out of the 44 local government areas of the state, under the first year of the partnership.

A nutritionist coaching trainees on how to prepare good meals from locally sourced farm products

At the moment, the focus is to strengthen the extension system to support the cultivation and marketing of nutritious crops as well as improvement of nutrition education so that household nutrition and   

Hajiya Daboyi from Bunkure. “Before this training, the practice in our village is to eat rice with oil or cook tuwo (millet meal with baobab soup), which is wholly carbohydrate and not the only requirement for children and even the adults. Today, I am very happy I have understood how to cook better food like soya bean cake, wheat pap, etc using locally planted crops. I can now share with fellow women that definitely, “Abincinka Garkuwarka” – literally meaning “your food is your protection”.

She is convinced that with good food, the youth and women can become stronger, thus, be able to work for more hours in the farms. This, coupled with extension education and inputs support, will lead to enhanced agricultural production. 

On his part, Sa’idu Musa, a 49 year old farmer from Kabo local government area with a wife, seven children and some dependants, said he never knew the implication nutritious food on his children’s physical and mental health. “I have been farming since I was a boy but I only grow and sell the crops. I don’t know balanced diet. I used to think that good food is for the rich men in the city. With this knowledge gained, I will keep some of the crops I plant not just for cash but for my wife to prepare good food which will make the children hale and hearty”.

Abdurrashid H. Kofar Mata, the KSADP/SAA Project Coordinator explained that “the nutrition training, one of the several trainings to be conducted by the project, was primarily to teach beneficiaries, especially women, the impact of adequate nutrition on pregnancy outcomes and child development, highlight the benefit of proper nutrition and teach women how to prepare nutritious foods from locally harvested ingredients”.

No doubt, KSADP/SAA’s approach towards addressing food and nutrition security by training important stakeholders will expose communities in Kano state to the use of locally available crops to prepare healthy diets for their families, thereby reducing malnutrition, poverty and improving overall community wellbeing.

Ameen K. Yassar

Communication Specialist, KSADP

Success Stories

REPAIR WORKS OF WATARI IRRIGATION SCHEME: KSADP INJECTING A NEW LEASE OF LIFE TO THOUSANDS OF FARMERS AND THE ECONOMY OF KANO STATE

It is no longer news that early in January 2021, the Kano State Agro Pastoral Development Project (KSADP) awarded the contract for the repair and rehabilitation of the Watari Irrigation Scheme to Messrs. Hajaig Nigeria Limited, for the sum of NGN 315 million and is expected to be completed within six months. The award of the contract was celebrated by thousands of farmers from Bagwai, Bichi, Tofa and surrounding Local Government Areas in Kano State.

The irrigation scheme, which is situated downstream of the Watari dam, in Bagwai Local Government Area of Kano State, has potential to irrigate 2, 600 ha when completed. The irrigation scheme is used for both wet and dry season farming of major high value crops such as rice, wheat, onions, maize, tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage, pepper and garlic etc.

It is pertinent to mention that before the coming of the KSADP, which is funded by the Islamic Development Bank under the Lives and Livelihoods Fund, the Watari Dam and the its downstream infrastructure which was constructed over 40 years ago had not undergone any major repairs for more than twenty years. As such large, areas of the downstream infrastructure especially the canals, embankment and reservoirs have become silted and, in most cases, broken down. The inability of the government to repair these infrastructure had resulted in more than 2, 314 farmers losing their means of livelihoods as only about 52 percent can cultivate their crops twice a year, while the rest of the farmers can only cultivate their crops during the wet season as a result. It is instructive however, to note that out of the existing 962 hectares of farmland covered by the irrigation scheme, about 45 percent of the land is not in use due to the dilapidation of the irrigation infrastructure. This has continued to translate into huge economic loss for thousands of farmers.

It is worth mentioning that before the commencement of the project execution, officials of the Kano Ministry of Agriculture, Kano State Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (KNARDA) and PMU held several meetings with representatives of farmers associations to intimate them about the objective of the IsDB funded project and the plan to repair the broken-down sections of the irrigation scheme. The plan also includes the stoppage of the release of water from the dam so that the repair works can be carried out without any hindrance. This was a huge decision on the part of the government as the stoppage of the release of the water will have huge implication for those farmers that carry out their dry season farming activities within the scheme. Any delays in the commencement of the repair works could have huge implications for the farmers and their means of livelihoods.

The repair works commenced in earnest in January 2021 and started with the repair of gully erosion on the dam’s embankment, repair and desilting of main canal and drainages as well as desilting and repair of the night storage reservoir.

As at March 2021, the first phase of the work which comprises repair of the dam’s main canal and desilting of its night reservoir was completed. This development led to the release of water for irrigation purposes while other aspects of the repair works on the dam continued. The release of the water was done in the presence of the Managing Director of Kano Agricultural and Rural Development Agency, KNARDA, Dr. Junaid Yakubu Muhammad, KSADP officials and representatives of many farmers associations in the area.

“Expressing his gratitude on behalf of farmers, the Chairman of the Watari Farmers Association, Malam Ibrahim Sani described the KSADP intervention as “a new lease of life for the farming communities in the domain”. He stated that “Our lives and the lives of our families depend on this dam. We do not know anything other than farming throughout the year.

Look at the smiling faces all around you – the children, the adults and the youths. For us it is farming, farming and joy”.“For many years, we and people from other places who come to work on the fields have yearned for this intervention. Now it has been made possible by the Government of Kano State with financing from the Islamic Development Bank. We thank Allah for his mercies. We are eager to see this work completed and as you can see, our people are directly involved in the work by providing labour for the contractor”. Apart from offering labour, we also made meaningful suggestions to the contractor and he accepted our contributions to make the work result oriented”.

Malam Sani further added that with the release of water from the dam, the farmers are energized to return to their farms after several weeks of holiday and income loss due to the work. He therefore, praised KSADP, IsDB and LLF for their support.

Impressed by the enthusiasm with which the farmers around Watari dam embraced the renovation of the facility, the Managing Director of KNARDA, Dr. Junaid Yakubu Muhammad, announced a donation of farm inputs including fifty bags of fertilizer, 150 kg of leguminous crops seeds, 100 sprayers and other items to 100 selected farmers in the domain.

This gesture will motivate the farmers to strengthen their resolve in agriculture and importantly, to maintain support to the contractor handling the renovation of the dam, for speedy completion of the work.

It is noteworthy to mention that apart from renovation of the dam, KSADP intends to develop an additional 1,000 hectares of irrigation land in the area for irrigation farming. This is in addition to the existing 962 hectares that is presently under utilized. The development of the additional 1,000 ha will enable thousands of farmers in the area to engage in both wet and dry season farming activities which will enhance their income, standards of living and increased food production for the benefit of the people of Kano State.

Success Stories

SUCCESS STORY FROM KSADP – CROP VALUE CHAIN DEVELOPMENT COMPONENT

Mukhtar is second by the right in the picture
Mukhtar standing besides his fertilizer bags

Introduction

Like many other parts of Nigeria, farmers in Kano State have been very far from access to important extension service information particularly those into dry season crop production such as rice farmers. Smallholder farmers in Tokin of Warawa LGA, Kano state where not an exception. They lacked access to reliable Agricultural extension support and information; such as understanding better package of practice, input access, Market and other general information. Their crop yields were low because improved seeds were lacking. Village farmers were only exposed to unreliable suppliers of expensive and fake inputs dealers. The most topical problem was that the few reliable sources of extension information such as ADPs were located long distances

Farmer’s experience

Mallam Mukhtar Garba is42 years old farmer. He is a rice seed multiplication farmer from Tokin community of Warawa LGA of Kano State, he is blessed with 5 children from 2 wives, farming has been his business for close to25years. He is one of the 45,000 farmers networked, trained and supported with inputs to manage and showcased improved rice seed multiplication technology by KSADP – crop value chain development component under Sasakawa in year 2021 dry season intervention.

Mukhtar is second by the right in the picture

Mukhtar is second by the right in the picture                Mukhtar standing besides his fertilizer bags                          

Testimony and Impact

I benefited a lot from my partnership with KSADP Dry-season Program and can now look at agriculture as a business. Before I used to harvest a maximum of 50 bags (3.7 metric tons) of paddy rice from the same one hectare of land, but now with the right production technology and quality inputs I received from Sasakawa last dry season, I harvested 102 bags (7.7 metric tons) of Faro 44 rice fromone hectare of land. I gave out 5 bags of 75kg each to farmers in the community as Zakkat for them to apply the certified seed in their respective farms, 12 bags for my family consumption and sold out 85 bags to the seed company at N16,500 each totalling N1, 402,500 (One Million Four Hundred and Two Thousand Five Hundred Naira Only). with the proceeds of that bumper harvest, I now open a shop at my community selling fertilizer and chemicals while expanding my rice seed multiplication to 1.5 hectare this wet season. I also used some portion of the profit to pay bills of my children school fees.

Lessons learned and actions to be taken.

Farms that received proper agronomic attention like mine is always attractive to bad persons. Last dry season even with the yield I realized, thieves stole 1.5 rows from my farm. Now I intend to fence my farm and hire a guard at the point of harvest to stop thieves from breaking into it.

Success Stories

FARMERS IN KANO COUNT BLESSINGS UNDER KSADP (NGA1007) /SAA CROP VALUE CHAIN INTERVENTION

In Kano state, Northwest Nigeria, agricultural extension service remains a key factor for agricultural development and improvement of rural livelihoods. This is fundamental taking into account the fact that agriculture is the backbone of the state’s economy, with 70 percent of the state’s population engaged directly or indirectly in agricultural production.

Despite this scenario, many smallholder farmers in the State lack access to extension services – information on best practices, input access, market and skills, which are intended to help them to improve their living standards.

To address this and other challenges facing the agricultural sector, Kano state Agro-Pastoral Development Project, KSADP, financed by the Islamic Development Bank and the Lives and Livelihood Funds, signed an agreement with Sasakawa Africa Association, to impact 450, 000 small holder farmers in Kano.

A critical component of the KSADP/SAA intervention is the design and execution of value chain extension training for extension workers and famer facilitators in the state.

In 2021 under the dry season intervention 112, 500 farmers were targeted to benefit for the first year, across 20 local government areas, instead the number of beneficiaries shot to 114, 719, following due diligence, resilience and resourceful planning.

Mallam Mutari Garba, 42 year old rice seed multiplication farmer from Tokin community of Warawa LGA of Kano State, who has been his business for close to 25 years. He is one of the 45,000 farmers networked, trained and supported with inputs to manage and showcased improved rice seed multiplication technology by KSADP – crop value chain development component under Sasakawa in the 2021 dry season intervention, testifies.

Mutari posing with the input support he received

“Before, I used to harvest a maximum of 50 bags (3.7 metric tons) of paddy rice from the same one hectare of land, but now with the production technology and quality inputs I received during last dry season, I harvested 102 bags (7.7 metric tons) of Faro 44 rice from one hectare of land”.

“I gave out 5 bags of 75kg each to farmers in the community as Zakkat for them to use the certified seed in their respective farms, 12 bags for my family consumption and sold out 85 bags to the seed company at N16,500 each totalling N1, 402,500 (One Million Four Hundred and Two Thousand Five Hundred Naira Only)”.

“With the proceeds of that bumper harvest, I now thinking of starting a shop in my community for selling fertilizer and chemicals, while expanding my rice seed multiplication to about two hectares this wet season. I have adequate reason to appreciate the IsDB, LLF, KSADP and Sasakawa”.

Mutari in his rice demo plot

This position was corroborated by Isah Umar of Imawa, Kura local government area, another demo host farmer, who said they have been cultivating rice for decades in his community with archaic knowledge of farming, spending lot of money to buy inputs like fertilizers and hiring more labor, on the assumption that doing could help him achieve maximum yield.

“Since KSADP/SAA intervention came to his community our yield has improved. It is a miracle that you plant one stand of rice and you get more than forty stands, the line transplanting though looks tedious but it helps them to manage space and save wasted fertilizers that we have been using over the years before this intervention”.

Isah and showing samples of rice to officials at his demo plot

Before the intervention in 2021, Isah and other farmers in his community usually harvest 30 to 40 bags of paddy rice per Ha after spending much in fertilizer application and engaging many labourers, stressing that from the output of his farm, he expects to realize 60 to 100 bags of paddy rice per Ha with minimal application of inputs.

Basically, each farmer like Mutari and Isah were trained on site and seed selection, nursery establishment, planting spacing and density, transplanting, fertilizer application, weeding, pest and disease management), harvest and post-harvest handling, storage management, business skills and enterprise management, even as they received support of improved seeds and fertilizer.

But the bottom-line is that the beneficiaries are now fully knowledgeable and early adopters among them have already recorded increased yield from their production in the same land they previously cultivated with lower yields.

Ameen K. Yassar

Communication Specialist, KSADP

Success Stories

IsDB/ LLF FUNDED PROJECT, KSADP (NGA1007) INGNITES BETTER DEAL FOR WOMEN FARMERS IN KANO

Like in many African societies, women in Kano state, Nigeria, contribute significantly to food production and processing, but men take more of the farm decisions and control the productive resources. Yet, increased participation of women is required to boost agricultural productivity and attain food security, besides alleviating poverty for a state whose population is conservatively put at about 18 million people. It is believed that about 70 percent of this population is below the poverty line and majority of them are women.

To this end, under KSADP/Sasakawa Africa Association Crop intervention programme, thousands of women and youth are supported to access technical expertise and input grants, to stimulate optimal involvement in agricultural production and processing thus, providing income and rural employment.

This is premised on the commitment of the Islamic Development Bank and the Lives and Livelihood Funds, the financiers of KSADP, to lift millions of people out of poverty and improve livelihoods generally, through job creation and income generation initiatives.

So far, about 114, 719 farmers, including a good number of women farmers have started celebrating their gains, according to Safiya Inuwa Danborno, 45, a mother of seven children from Gafan Women Group Cooperative Society, Bunkure local government area. She has the responsibility of meeting the domestic needs of the family since her husband supports an extended family comprising several nephews and grand children.

“Our association has 50 members and we have been farming as an organized group for 17 years. However, access to land and inputs has always been our bottleneck to agricultural production”.

Through the KSADP/Sasakawa project the group has enlisted them to be part of the Smallholder commercial farmers who will produce sorghum and maize in a contiguous 50-hectare land allocated to them by the Kano state Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources in the 2021 wet season production calendar.

Apart from the training they got, each of the beneficiaries received 500kg of improved sorghum seed, 50 bags of NPK and 50 bags of Urea fertilizer respectively.

Safiya Inuwa Danbarno with some members of her group in their farm

“We are happy beneficiaries of KSADP/Sasakawa input grant support. Ever since we ventured into farming, access to capital for us to procure inputs has been very difficult because we are weak. Our group applied and secured 50 hectares of land from Kano state government which we intend to produce sorghum and maize but we were constrained due to lack of capital”. 

“Glory be to Allah, when we heard of KSADP, the Islamic Bank financed project providing inputs support through Sasakawa, so we approached them. Their workers quickly came and confirmed the location of our farms and provided us with inputs grant equivalent to 30 percent of the required inputs for 50 hectares”.

“This unlocked opportunity for us to grab an off-taker who is funding the 70 percent balance of our production cost. You can see how big this farm is. We are happy to inform you, that this kind of contiguous production by women in Gafan area is unprecedented. Go round and ask people – we are a point of reference in Bunkure as a result of the KSADP grant”.

“The intervention has brought happiness to our lives. When we harvest the produce, we will take some percentage of the profit to solve family issues and re-invest the remaining to scale up production in the next cropping season”.

Gafan women farmers in their sorghum farm

Commenting on this development, the KSADP/SAA Project Coordinator, Abdurrashid Kofar Mata said: “We have commenced the training of women in best agronomic practices and basic farm technologies across several locations in part of the state. We also provided them with seeds and other inputs. We trained them on nutrition sensitive agriculture all with the funding received from KSADP, whose funds come from the Islamic Development Bank and the LLF”.

He stated that 45 women groups in the state, comprising not more 25 women each, amounting to 1,125 beneficiaries have been trained on improved rice parboiling techniques and empowered them with improved parboiling kits. Karefa Women Rice Processors in Tudun Wada local government area is among the quick adapters to the training.

40 year old, Ummi Sh’aibu a housewife with eight children is a member of Karefa Women Rice Processors said hitherto, they have been into processing for over 20 years, with little to show for it. They were selected for the agricultural training based on criteria using a “farmers’ assessment checklist’’ as a tool to help identify women groups that actually need the intervention.

“We are used to processing using traditional pot but it doesn’t make our work easy. Secondly, our milled rice is always looking dark and having stones in it. So it is merely patronized. But with this training we received few months ago and the new sorting and parboiling equipment supplied, it really helped us to improve on our business. We are so amazed. We thought any rice that is processed locally cannot be eye friendly and pot friendly too”.

“We were trained on improved parboiling, milling and how to package the milled rice. Let me tell you that in the past 5 weeks, I have been able to process 30 bags of paddy and I have made a profit of N75, 000 from sales of my packaged milled rice, which I hardly gain before in 3 months because the rice is not value added”.  

“By all means, we are richer now and I am planning to rent a shop to display my goods. We have gotten new experience and this has really increased my confidence in this business. I don’t know how to thank the IsDB for the KSADP/SAA project, which has come to our locality with a life changing opportunit
y”.

Ummi Shu’aibu with her friends displaying their association’s packaged rice

Ameen K. Yassar

Communication Specialist, KSADP

Success Stories

KANO – POST COVID RESILIENCE AND FARMERS’ SUSTAINABILITY

Indeed in Nigeria, like in most countries across the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in various critical health and economic challenges which have impacted on the lives of the people.

The impact of the current pandemic on farmers’ in Nigeria especially Kano state, the country’s foremast agricultural and commercial hub cannot be overemphasized. Definitely, farmers’ means of livelihood was threatened by the pandemic thereby worsening food and nutrition security, raising unemployment and aggravating poverty.

The lockdown enforced by the State and Federal government’s that affected all segments of the society hindered agricultural activities such as farming and livestock development, since there was no fodder for the animals, thus, making faming households more vulnerable.

Specifically, farmers in Kano could not generate income, suffered production losses and hardly got access to agro inputs and labour. And since there was travel ban, they could not get access to markets in cities and towns, to sell farm produce, livestock and products like milk and butter.

For their families, the situation was also miserable as the pandemic resulted in shortage of food, reduction in food diversity and reliance on support from donor organizations. Incidence of malnutrition worsened especially among the children.

The sad experience provides important lessons for strengthening the resilience of the agro-pastoral system in the State, and the livelihoods of households that depend on it.

Given the foregoing scenario, there is the imperative to find ways to step up the resilience of the farmers for faster economic recovery, by improving income, mitigation poverty, creating more jobs as well as effectively tackling food and nutrition security concerns.

In this regard, The Kano State Agro-Pastoral Development Project, financed by the Islamic Development Bank and the Lives and Livelihood Funds, initiated and completed repairs of the Watari dam and Irrigation Scheme, which is XXXXX and has potential to provide XXXX jobs.

The dam and its irrigation infrastructure, constructed over 40 years ago had not undergone any major repairs for more than twenty years.

Consequently, parts of the downstream infrastructure especially the canals, embankment and reservoirs have become silted and, in most cases, broken down.

Non repair the infrastructure caused more than 2, 314 farmers to lose their means of livelihoods, as only about 52 percent can cultivate their crops twice a year, while the rest of the farmers can only cultivate their crops during the wet season as a result.

Again, out of the existing 962 hectares of farmland covered by the irrigation scheme, about 45 percent of the land is not in use due to the dilapidation of the irrigation infrastructure, leading to huge economic loss for thousands of farmers. The situation was worsened by COVD 19.

Apart from renovating the dam, KSADP has concluded arrangement to develop an additional 1,000 hectares of irrigation land in the area for irrigation farming. This development will enable XXXXX farmers in the area to engage in both wet and dry season farming activities which will enhance their income, standards of living and increased food production.

At the moment, XXXXX from Dawakin Tofa, Bagwai and Bichi local government areas are benefitting from the renovated project, planting Rice, Tomato, Onions, Maize, Wheat, Cucumber, Cowpea, Groundnut, Cabbage and Watermelon.

The cost of hiring of renting a farm in the irrigation scheme has increased from N170, 000 per ha to N280, 000 per ha now. The cost of paddy before COVID has increased from N13, 000 to N18, 000 now, while middlemen who collect N700 only as commission, per bag of paddy now collect N1500 for the same service.

Production of rice also increased from 60 bags per ha to nearly 110 bags of paddy after the repairs. Thanks to the KSADP-SAA technical cooperation aimed at enhancing farmers’ capacity to produce more. More rice millers, agro products dealers, cloths and phone repairers have sprang up in the area owing to increased production.

The dam repairs have also provided ample opportunity for jobs for youths and women in crop production, processing and marketing. Many of them no longer travel to Kano city for menial jobs while some have gotten married and purchased water pumping machines, motorcycles, standing fans, television sets and generators, as indicators of their new status in the society. 

Besides, under the KSADP-SAA crop value chain intervention,   450, 000 small holder farmers in Kano will benefit from access to extension services – information on best practices, input access, market access and skills/ technology development, which are intended to help them to improve their productivity and living standards. More 112, 000  farmers, formed into groups in 20 local government areas of the state, have started to benefit and six new mini rice mills have been established and are being managed by the farmers.

The KSADP has also signed an MOU with Kano State Agricultural and Rural Development Authority, to impact 100, 000 farmers across the legumes value chain.

This includes a special training component for women in agriculture, to teach beneficiaries the significance of adequate and quality nutrition on pregnancy outcomes and child development, highlight the benefit of proper nutrition and teach women how to prepare nutritious foods from locally harvested agricultural products.

To address challenges Livestock issues against the backdrop of COVID 19 Challenges, KSADP initiated a livestock vaccination exercise in 2021 where 701, 042 cattle and 663, 570 sheep and goats were vaccinated. The endeavor was conducted by 520 inoculators and a number of volunteers, under the supervision of 25 Veterinary doctors.

This resulted in tremendous improvement in the livestock health leading to improved milk and beef production in the state. This encouraged the project to organize another vaccination in 2022, to guarantee ample supply of milk and meat, which provide a vital source of nutrition for the populace, especially vulnerable groups such as children and sick people.

Given the foregoing outcomes, it is clear that improving the resilience of agricultural production is one way of ensuring that future crises have a more limited impact on the lives and livelihoods of the people of Kano.

AMEEN K. YASSAR

COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST, KSADP

Success Stories

WATARI IRRIGATION – A SUCCESS STORY

Kano state in Northern Nigeria has about 23 dams which are largely underutilized. One of them is Watari dam and irrigation scheme, the third largest in the state, which was constructed about 42 years ago.

Left to deteriorate despite a total storage capacity of 104.55Mm2 and a huge potential for cultivation of vast hectares of rice, several irrigated crops and vegetables, thereby creating thousands of direct and indirect jobs, the Kano State Agro-Pastoral Development Project, KSADP decided to renovate it as part of its mandate to ensure food security and poverty alleviation.

According to Ibrahim Garba Muhammad, the State Project Coordinator, Kano State Agro-Pastoral Development Project, KSADP, “The main purpose of renovating the Watari Irrigation Scheme is to help in improving the livelihoods of our peasant farmers through providing easily accessible irrigation infrastructure, improving incomes, minimizing rural-urban drift and ensuring climate-smart management of the ecosystem”.

“With irrigation, you can reduce the economic weakness of smallholder farmers, but when you support this with good agronomic practices and planting of high-value crops, the farmers will be able to make more money that can help them live above the poverty threshold”.

“That is why we are working with Sasakawa Africa and KNARDA, across selected value chains, to impact on at least 550, 500 farmers, providing them with training, starter packs, inputs, warehousing and marketing services”, he emphasized.

Today, the project which was awarded at the cost of N314. 45 million a few months ago has been completed and lush green has returned to Bagwai and surrounding communities once again.

Yusuf Jadda, 45, from Bauje community in Bagwai local government area has been a farmer all his life. He has a wife, aged parents and eight kids to cater for. He owns five hectares of irrigable land but hitherto planted crops on only 1.5 hectares of land in the Watari area due to the dilapidation of the irrigation infrastructure, making it hard for him to use all his farms.

“For almost three years, the canals were clogged. We mobilized some farmers to dredge them but in three weeks, we could only do not more than one and half kilometer because we use physical labor. Alhamdulillah, we are happy that this renovation by KSADP has been done successfully. We contributed by helping the contractor because the work is very dear to us”.

“With this development, it is now very expensive to lease a farm in this area. Everybody has returned to his abandoned farm. Unlike before, I have now planted on all the five hectares and gotten results. I used to get about 30 bags of rice from my 1.5 hectares but with the seeds and other inputs given to us through the KSADP/Sasakawa cooperation, I have been able to reap 88 – 90 bags per hectare and this is wonderful”.

“On behalf of all the farmers in this area, I express thanks to KSADP, the LLF, the Islamic Development Bank and our long time friends KNARDA for their support. The government of Kano state should know that whatever the KSADP brings has reached the ordinary farmer directly. This is a high point in agricultural practice in Kano”.

Yusuf’s case is one of several examples. Besides smallholder farmers, the renovation of Watari has become a source of happiness and wellbeing to several individuals and families.

Yusuf Jadda in his rice farm at Watari

For instance, farm input dealers in the domain are also making profit and growing in numbers. Lawan Ibrahim, an inputs dealer in his 60s with about 25 dependants, attests to this. “Prior to this irrigation renovation work, I owned just one shop and only about 20 of us were into this type of business in Bagwai town. I used to have 15-20 farmers coming to buy my goods in a day. Now, sales have increased rapidly. I have six shops managed by my sons and more people in this town have now become agro input dealers since the market is there. Sometimes, more than 100 patronize my six shops daily. Alhamdulillah, we are making money, thanks to the intervention by KSADP, IsDB, LLF and KNARDA. I am confident that by next year, many of us here, in this business, would have saved enough to perform Hajj in shaa Allah”.

Lawan Ibrahim in his Agro chemicals shop at Tashar Bagwai

Another indirect beneficiary of the project, Tela Danjuma, a commercial motorcyclist who operates along the Bagwai –Watari axis is also happy that the renovation of the dam infrastructure has brought him and those engaged in same business more fortunes because they make more money owing to the movement of farmers and produce buyers in the area.

“I can tell you that averagely, we used to get something like N1, 000 – 1, 500 daily before now. With the revival of the irrigation work, a commercial rider here makes up to N2, 500 daily nowadays, and that is not bad at all, since many farmers and produce buyers are moving up and down the place. The irrigation work is definitely a stimulant for our business”.

Owing to the increased movement of farmers, extension agents and produce buyers, among others, around the Watari project vicinity, the place is witnessing a growing number of food vendors – from those selling rice and beans, those selling millet gruel, plastic containers with soybean cakes and Fulani milk maids selling Fura da Nono etc, all making good money to cater for their families. Other small scale businesses including recharge card sellers, second hand clothes sellers.

Food hawkers servicing farmers at a community near Watari

Remarkably, some pastoralists have chosen to settle within communities in the Watari – Bagwai locality owing to increase in availability of crop residue. They, in turn, are providing their hosts with fresh and fermented milk as well as organic fertilizer for farms.

But beyond the issue of renovating the Irrigation Project is the critical issue of its sustainability. Obviously, the state government cannot shoulder the responsibility of maintaining the project alone because of dwindling resources and competing public demands. That is why the project beneficiaries have agreed to support the government, to enable the project stand on its feet, for the benefit of posterity.

Rabi’u Na Sama’ila Mai Rake, the chairman of the Watari Water Users Cooperative Society believes that going by what they have started generating, they can support the state government in managing the project and conducting regular repairs of the irrigation infrastructure.

“The Islamic Development Bank and the LLF have brought us good omen. We thank Governor Ganduje too for the KSADP. Many people left their farms because there was no water to irrigate. But look at our faces now: we are excited, there is water, plenty water for year-round use! The import of this is that there is job everyday unless one is lazy. Therefore, since we are making money now, we have a duty to give revenue to the government to facilitate regular maintenance, so that the work will last long. We must save for community self-help work”.

As exciting as the Watari Irrigation infrastructure renovation is, it is only a tip of the iceberg! This is because arrangement is in top gear by the KSADP to extend the 962 hectare project by developing an additional 1, 000 hectares in the downstream of Watari dam. This massive intervention will give rise to an estimated 4, 000 new farmers of rice, maize and vegetables, translating into a big leap in terms of food security in Kano state.

Ameen K. Yassar

Project Communication Specialist, KSADP

1st November, 2021

Success Stories

KUDOS AS IsDB-LLF SUPPORT LIVESTOCK VACCINATION IN KANO, NIGERIA

Animal rearing is an enjoyable social and economic endeavor for pastoralists but for Kabiru Ahmadu, a 20 year old young man who rears a herd of about sixty three cattle for his family near Dangora, in Kiru local government area of Kano state, animal rearing is a burden if he must take care of sick, tired and sluggish cows.

Kabiru’s plight is not different from that of most pastoralists in the state who periodically grapple with unhealthy livestock and its attendant implications on their livelihoods.

Animal health is a major issue of concern not only to pastoralist but to the generality of the people in Kano because it is from cattle, goats and sheep that the people get quality meat and milk which are rich sources of protein. Meat, processed in several forms and Fura da Nono, a local gruel consisting of milk and sorghum, are the habitual nourishment of the typical Kano man.

Besides, a significant number of youth and women in the state wholly or partly make a living from the livestock value chain including selling, milking, butchering, processing meat, skin tanning and transporting herds.

Nonetheless, the provision of dairy products and in the state has been threatened by declining animal health largely as a result of Contagious Bovine Pleuro-pneumonia (CBPP) and Paste Des Petit Ruminant (PPR) over the past few years.

Periodic outbreaks of the two diseases has resulted in poor animal in the state, leading to declining milk yields, reduced weight gain of the animals, especially cattle, and high animal mortality. These occurrences were however not well documented.

To worsen the situation, the government of Kano state, which has the sole responsibility of conducting the animal vaccination could not conduct the exercise for almost three years, due to dwindling resources and competing demands from the citizenry, among other reasons.

In the light of this and to help the state government to achieve food security, generate income and improve livelihoods, the Kano Agro Pastoral development Project, (KSADP) launched a state-wide mass cattle and small ruminants’ vaccination on 4th April, 2021 at Dansoshiya Grazing Reserve, about 105 kilometers from Kano City.

The Islamic Development Bank and the Lives and Livelihoods Funds, through the Islamic Solidarity Fund, IsFD, released $219,718. 88 for purchase of the vaccines, consumables and logistics as well as training of the personnel needed for the livestock vaccination campaign.

For the first time in so many years, an unprecedented 746, 385 cattle and 558, 057 sheep and goats were vaccinated while the campaign lasted for about 10 weeks.

As far as Kabiru and indeed, thousand of pastoralists are concerned, a new lease of life has been infused into their livestock.

Kabiru (smiling) says: “As you can see for yourself, even the texture of the cattle’s skin is different now, they have become healthy. I can drive them many kilometers and they will not become tired. They are no longer slow and their bellies have opened up (they feed well). You can see those ones galloping with grace, particularly the calves and that is a sign of good living. We give glory to Allah for the vaccination. Our parents said it is the Islamic Bank and one other organization (meaning LLF) that shoulder the responsibility. We thank them profusely”.

Sulaiman Abdullahi, another pastoralist who corroborated the position of Kabiru Ahmadu, now finds it easier to milk cows in his homestead. “If an animal is not well, it will not feed well and if it does not eat properly, the milk yield will be low. Before the vaccination, it takes me longer time to milk the cows and the volume of milk I collect then is much lower than what I obtain now. I hope other states will emulate Kano by conducting similar cattle vaccination since Fulanis are nomadic”.

“About two years ago, our brothers in some homesteads lost five, 10, 20 and even more cows because there was no place to access vaccination for the sick animals. This year, since the vaccination I have not heard about the death of a single cow from CBPP. The fact that the vaccination is free shows that the state government, the Islamic Development Bank and LLF have us in their hearts”.

At Tasa – Fagi, Dawakin Kudu local government where the Kano Dairy and Livestock Husbandry Cooperative Union has a modern milk collection center, there is conspicuous movement of mostly youths and women bringing in milk.

The chairman of the union, Usman Abdullahi Usman was happy to announce that the livestock vaccination in Kano has made huge impact. “As I am talking to you now, more and more people are bringing in milk. Let me tell you that for instance, a woman that used bring in seven liters of milk here in the past now brings in between 10 – 11 liters. It is a sign of improved cattle health because of vaccination”.

He added: “honestly in the past, you cannot get this amount of milk because some of the cattle are not healthy. In fact, I know of places like Bunkure, which is a neighboring local government where high animal deaths were witnessed from time to time last year because the sick cows could not get vaccinated”.

The Kano Fura Da Nono Cooperative Union, the umbrella union for 40 cooperative societies with nearly 9, 000 members, mostly itinerant hawkers of milk and other dairy products, domiciled at Kofar Wambai market in the heart of Kano city also believe that the recent vaccination was worthwhile.

Its chairman, Alhaji Muhammadu Lawan Alaramma says:”Last year in a day, you find only a few drums of milk in the market. Those looking for large quantities have to go as far as Maiduguri, Adamawa and Jos searching for milk.  Now you can find one person with several drums of milk and everybody is busy in our market. I want to believe that it is because of the cattle vaccination held earlier this year. If the authorities can continue with it, economic hardship will be reduced”.

On the part of butchers, the vaccination has impacted on the quality of meat they sell to the public according to the traditioanl leader of butchers in Kano, Alhaji Isyaku Alin Muri.

“At the Kano Main Abattoir where my office is, we slaughter 30-40 camels, 120 cows and 300 – 400 sheep and goats on a daily basis. Previously, we used to condemn 20 – 55 animals monthly, that is those that are not fit for human consumption because of poor health. Since the recent vaccination, we condemn only 3 – 5 per month. The animals brought in here have shown increase in weight meaning better meat quality. The vaccination has worked”!

A Veterinary Public Health Inspector at the abattoir, Hamza Muhammad Sadauki stated that necessary quality assurance checks are conducted on animals on offloading them and post mortem conducted after slaughter. He said noticeable weight gain was recorded and the meat quality has also shown improvement. According to him, consumers are happy because the meat they buy is good.

“I remember there was a day 10 cows were condemned because the animals were certified unfit for human consumption due to CBPP. It was a sad day for the butcher because of the heavy loss he incurred. Immediately after the vaccination, things started to change and we identify fewer animals for condemnation. Even those that we get once in a while are those brought to this place from outside the state”.

Policy makers are also glad that livestock vaccination in the state was reintroduced after a three year break. The Managing Director of the Kano Agricultural and Rural Development Agency, KNARDA, Dr. Junaidu Yakubu Muhammad described it as a major milestone for the people because of the impact it created along the livestock value chain.

“A major constraint to increasing animal production and improving productivity is lack of vaccination. The state government, therefore, appreciates IsDB, LLF and IsFD for the tremendous support extended in ensuring that the vaccination is conducted throughout the state free of charge”. 

Ameen K. Yassar

Communication Specialist,

KSADP

29th September, 2021

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