Hadejia (Jigawa)- Alhaji Ubali Hashim, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Jigawa on Saturday called on the Federal Government to complete the Hadejia Valley project to encourage agricultural activities in the area.
Hashim told newsmen in Hadejia, Jigawa, that the call was imperative in order to mobilise participation in agriculture, accelerate paddy rice production and reduce poverty in the country.
He said that the project would open up lands for irrigation farming in Jigawa, Kano, Bauchi, Yobe and Borno states.
He added that more than one million farmers in Jigawa could be engaged when the project was completed as it would immensely contribute to sustainable socio-economic development of the state.
The APC leader also advised the incoming administration in the state to utilise the agriculture and water resources to address the problem of unemployment among youths.
He noted that the incoming APC administration should prioritise agriculture to reduce poverty and diversify the economy.
“With adequate support, farmers in Jigawa could produce rice and wheat to meet local demands and export,’’ he said.
The Hadejia valley project had been abandoned since 20 years.
A competent source at the Hadejia-Jama’are River Basin Development Authority told the News Agency of Nigeria that the project was designed to provide about 25,000 hectares of farmlands for irrigation.
“More than 5,000 hectares of farmlands were developed under phase one of the project. The land is fully utilised and cultivated by farmers,’’ the source said.
He said the authority had conducted de-silting exercise and cleared over 50 kilometres of grass on the river to ease flow of water.
The source added that the authority had adopted effective measures to open up additional hectares of farmlands and ensure adequate water supply for domestic and irrigation activities. (NAN)