From Desmond Mgboh, Kano
The Kano State Agro Pastoral Development Project (KSADP) has signed a four-year agreement worth over N220 million with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) for technical backstopping in several thematic areas, to assure the quality of the project’s interventions.
The agreement, which will take effect from the 2021 planting season, entails among other things the provision of support to the Kano Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (KNARDA) to reach out to at least 100,000 farmers across the 44 local government areas of the state, with training, post-harvest interventions and agribusiness services.
It also includes the provision of seed support for KNARDA and SG2000 crops seeds multiplication for targeted commodities, as well as to the value chain implementation, including inputs access, technologies access, etc.
Similarly, the agreement covers training of KNARDA staff at various levels, provision of technical support and knowledge support tools, co-supervision of two doctorates and five postgraduate degree thesis in Agro-economy, especially in milk processing, rangeland management and extension.
Shortly after the signing formalities, KSADP Project Coordinator Ibrahim Garba explained that ‘the agreement is about long-term institutional capacity building and community empowerment, which will ultimately result in improved food security and economic development.’
‘Our extension workers need new skills to meet the demand of the fast-changing agricultural value chain and agribusiness systems for sustainable food security and economic development.’
Ibrahim emphasised that ‘the overall objective of the KSADP is to contribute to reducing poverty and strengthening food and nutrition security in the state of Kano by developing agro-pastoral production systems. To achieve this objective, we must leverage a high level of technical competence and, in this direction, we believe IITA will be a very reliable partner.’
KNARDA Managing Director Dr Junaid Yakubu Muhammad described the agreement as a significant step towards the success of the state government’s agricultural transformation strides.
He expressed high optimism that with IITA’s long-standing reputation, a synergy between the organiSation and the KSADP would yield the desired outcomes in agricultural productivity.