About 1, 260, 000 small holder farmers in rural areas of Kano state are expected to the benefit directly from the Islamic Development Bank supported Kano Agro-Pastoral Development Project (KSADP), the state governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has announced.
Dr. Ganduje made the assertion in a message to a meeting between officials of Africa Consulting and Trading (ACT) mission and public sector stakeholders of the project in Kano.
At the moment, the agriculture sector in the state contributes more than 70 percent of its Gross State Product while about 50 percent of its populace is directly or indirectly engaged in some form of agricultural activity including crops and livestock production.
Represented by his deputy, Dr. Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, the governor said "1. 26 million small and medium scale farmers are our main target for this project - this is not a small number. So we intend to make it a far – reaching project that will foster economic development and social progress”.
Emphasizing the significance of the project, in which $95 million will be invested within the next five years, the governor added that “this project is a baby of this administration because of the resources involved and expected number of beneficiaries. I will personally keep myself close to it”.
He noted that the take off of the project was primarily delayed because of certain issue that needed to be sorted out between the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Islamic Development Bank, explaining that the grey area has been resolved and the first tranche of the project funds would be made available soon.
Dr. Ganduje announced that his administration had initiated some projects at Dansoshiya forest, through its RUGA Committee, to augment the Kano Agro-Pastoral Development Project’s planned intervention, aimed at transforming the forest to a modern grazing reserve.
Earlier, the team leader, Africa Consulting and Trading (ACT) mission, Mr. Joseph Lopez, stated that they were mandated by the Islamic Development Bank and its partners to conduct needs assessment of the KSADP beneficiaries with a view to providing technical assistance.
He said he was impressed by the enthusiasm of the state government towards the smooth take – off of the project and commended the project executing agency, KNARDA and the Project Management Unit for their determination and team work.
On his part, the State Project Coordinator, Kano Agro-Pastoral Development Project, Alh. Ibrahim Garba Muhammad, explained that the project would among several things engage in the development of grazing reserves, stock routes demarcation, crop productivity, livestock enhancement, provision of rural infrastructure and promotion of small rural enterprises as well as capacity building for farmers.