The Federal Government has said it would rehabilitate a total of 375 kilometres of rural roads under the Climate Change Adaptation and Agribusiness Support Programme (CASP) of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbe, who stated this at the flag off of the rehabilitation of 22 rural roads in seven northern states, where the CASP Programme is being implemented, also announced that a total of 243km of new rural roads would be constructed. He said the project is expected to benefit at least 7,000,000 people across the participating states.
CASP is one of the International Funds for Agricultural Development (IFAD) assisted Programmes in Nigeria, which is implemented in seven states on the savannah belt of Nigeria consisting of Borno, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara.
The programme’s overall development goal is reducing rural poverty, increasing food security, accelerating sustainable economic growth and reducing vulnerability for smallholder farmers, particularly women and young people.
The minister said his ministry, through the CASP Programme, is also intervening in the provision of 997 solar powered boreholes, which would be benefitting at least 500,000 vulnerable men and women.
“Additionally, water harvesting and soil & water conservation infrastructure would be provided to improve water harvesting on farmlands of beneficiaries,” the minister said, adding that a total of 4,000ha of Rangelands would be developed to cater for at least 3000 herdsmen.
“This would commence with a pilot of 50ha per state. Here in Katsina
State, Madobi and Turumni village areas in Daura LGA have been designated for the purpose with approximately 600ha on which holistic land management would be practiced and taught. Livestock watering points would be established in addition to the Rangelands, which obviously, would reduce the friction between farmers and herders, occasioned by the loss of forage due to the unsympathetic effect of the change in climatic conditions,” Ogbe said.
He further mentioned that the flag off was part of a series of inter-related interventions of rural infrastructure build-up across the country under the present administration.
“Rural roads such as this one, are critical to the productivity of the rural people,” he said.
“The road requires maintenance in order to extend its life span. In this connection, I will strongly urge the benefitting communities to form a road maintenance group, which would assist in simple repairs such as filling of potholes, cleaning of drains and culverts as well as other small repairs. You may wish to know that the programme, under the current year, is rehabilitating a total of 22 rural roads across the participating states, covering a total distance of 59.09km with support structures such as drainages, culverts and drifts.
“To mitigate the effect of climate change on the environment, we are also establishing about 3,000ha of community woodlots, shelterbelts and afforestation of the fast depleting vegetation in states within the CASP Programme area, which would benefit at least 30,000 vulnerable men and women.
“The programme involves collaborating with the National Agency for the Great Green Wall in 18 communities common to both Agencies for that purpose.”
Earlier in his welcome address, the National Programme Coordinator, CASP, Alhaji Muhammad Lawal Idah, said the rehabilitation of the erosion prone roads will accelerate economic growth on a sustainable basis; improve agricultural production; facilitate easy access to farms including transportation of farm inputs and produce to the markets and reduce the vulnerability of smallholder farmers, particularly women and youth in the participating states. The two other interventions will impact on the livestock sector of the economy, specifically curtailing farmers/herders’ clashes.
“Without doubt, when these roads and the grazing lands are fully rehabilitated, they will be of immeasurable value to the benefitting communities in the participating areas,” Idah said.
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