Non-governmental organisations facilitating improved farming activities in Adamawa State have paid an oversight visit to access the performance of participating farmers operating demonstration farms in the state under the programme.
The programme which runs under the auspices of Nigeria Intergrated Agriculture Activity (IAA), is a five and half-year $15.8 million intervention being implemented by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and her partner, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).
The Activity supports vulnerable populations disenfranchised by the Boko Haram conflict and seeks to re-engage the population in basic farming activities as part of USAID’s contribution to the economic recovery in Northeast Nigeria after destructive attacks by insurgents.
The Deputy Chief of Party of the IAA, Mr Olukayode Faleti who represented the Chief of Party, Mr Prakash Silwal during the ceremony, said the Mega Farmers Brown Field Day was about reviewing the success of the USAID-funded Feed the Future programme.
“We are approaching harvest when we see the result of our efforts. We are here to see how our farmers have practiced what we taught them as shown in the quality of their crops,” Mr Faleti explained.
He said the Activity involves the establishment of demonstration plots by lead farmers and extension agents in the intervention communities of Adamawa, Borno and Gombe States.
According to him, a total of 175 demo plots have been established: 94 in (Adamawa; 75 in Borno: and six in Gombe to date.
Farmers are being exposed to the practical aspects of good agricultural practices and new technologies on the demonstration plots,” Mr Faleti explained.
A highlight of the event in Demsa was a tour of demonstration farms belonging to some beneficiaries of the programme.
The Adamawa State Government announced during the Demsa event that it was offering incentives to encourage massive dry season farming as the dry season approached.
The state Commissioner of Agriculture, Professor David Jatau who represented Governor Ahmadu Fintiri during the ‘Mega Farmers’ Brown Field Day’, said erratic rain and destruction to farmlands by floods in the recent past affected famine.
“We are set to support dry season farmers with all the inputs they will need,” the commissioner said.
The District Head of Demsa, Chief Fidelis Ali, affirmed that the farmers in his domain who embraced the improved seedlings and advanced farming techniques introduced through the Feed the Future/IAA programme have done well in their farms.