Musa Na’annabi Sokoto
The National Coordinator of Transformation Irrigation Management in Nigeria, Engineer Peter Manjuk has said, irrigation farmers would soon appreciate the new irrigation transformation method when it commences operation.
Engineer Manjuk made the comments in an exclusive interview with Stallion Times in Sokoto.
He said the best practice and lessons learned from a successful irrigation scheme is financial sustainability and institutional reforms to enable project implementation and management.
According to him, sustaining a productive scheme for the next generation needs full participation of water users, setting and collecting of fees from farmers, as well as accountability, management and disbursement of the fees accrued from the schemes.
“Farmers must show willingness and ability to pay for irrigation service fees for the sustainability of the new project,” Manjuk averred.
He said the objective of the new irrigation program is to improve access to irrigation and drainage services and to strengthen institutional arrangements for integrated water resources management and agricultural service delivery in selected large-scale public schemes around the country.
He said government is not likely to come around with the intention of providing any kind of intervention for operation, maintenance or management of any of the irrigation schemes hence the transformation commences.
Manjuk further stated that the new irrigation management method would free government from providing resources for the operation and maintenance of schemes around the county.
He however said such resources would be channeled for other purposes of national development,
The Coordinator disclosed that technical personnel for the new program had been drafted to train farmers and farmers associations on the effective utilization of irrigation system.
He reflected that, farmers should not continue to lament on the existing failures, adding that there is no way we can expect a different result if we continue on the same path of irrigation method.
“Positive change and success are possible if we do things appropriately and differently, the new method is here to support the Nigerian quest for irrigation transformation,” he added.