ABU trains Bakolori farmers on rice techniques 

The Institute for Agricultural Research of the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria is training 1,000 Bakolori farmers on new farming techniques tagged, “System of Rice Intensification for Sustainable Rice Production.”
Sunday T Abu, an academic, who presented a paper at an inception  workshop on innovative research for testing and promotion of rice intensification practices organised for Bakolori rice farmers, said that the research programme and training was to upgrade farmers’ knowledge to increase their productivity and profitability.
He said that one of the scopes of the project was to teach the farmers the use of cost effective, accessible and environmentally friendly tools, instead of those causing adverse effect on the soil, adding that farmers would be brought to the fore front.
“We learnt that the yield for rice production has been ldecreasing over the year for problems that have to do with poor quality of seeds and management of field water for irrigation. The over use of water on farming lands is making the land saline and toxic and farmers would always abandon the lands for another. So, we are coming up with new methods that would make their production sustainable,” he said.
Abu further explained that some of the main objectives of the programme was to assess agronomic soil and water practices and piloting of new rice intensification approaches supported by small-scale farming tools.
“Under the new method, farmers will be employed and become the  implementers of the techniques under trial and selected extension agents will closely work with rice farmers and each extension agent will be assigned to 62 rice farmers. Seven hectares will be cultivated using the new techniques,” he added.
In his remarks the Project Manager, Bakolori Irrigation Schem, Muhammad Lawan Maidoki, said that the scheme was a welcomed development, especially because it had worked in some African countries.

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