The Minister of Water Resources Engr Suleiman Adamu has underscored the importance of an integrated farm model in the nation’s quest to attain food sufficiency and for exports.
Engr Adamu stated this during the commissioning of four Integrated Farm schemes of the Benin Owena River Basin Development Authority (BORBDA) located at Obayantor in Benin, Auchi Etsako West LGA, Uneme Nekhua and Okpe in Akoko Edo.
The Minister; who also commissioned the newly completed Edo Area Office of BORBDA located in Auchi, said that in view of the vagaries of weather and other factors inhibiting the traditional farming methods, the Songhai Integrated farm model remains the way to go if the nation must be food secured.
“The focus of the integrated (Songhai Model) is on an innovative system of agricultural production which is able to holistically integrate both primary and secondary products from the farm into good use such that there is absolutely no waste in the farm.
“The system is competitive, sustainable, preserving and incorporates human capacity building through training in basic business management and entrepreneurship necessary to prepare unemployed graduates and youths to undertake agricultural business”.
While expressing satisfaction with BORBDA’s commitment in carrying out his earlier charge to the 12 river basins across the country to ensure the establishment of at least one Interested Farm in each of the 109 Senatorial Districts in Nigeria, the Minister expressed happiness that BORBDA was playing a leading role in this regard with the establishment of four of such farms in two of the three Senatorial Zones in Edo.
He further commended the Managing Director of BORBDA Engr Saliu Osifuemhe Ahmed, including the management and staff of the agency for their developmental strides in the agriculture and water projects as well as in infrastructure.
He appreciated the cooperation of the various host communities to BORBDA’s projects and pleaded with them to develop an attitude that would make them perceive such as theirs.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Managing Director, BORBDA Engr Saliu Ahmed commended the minister whose vision and farsightedness driven by a desire to reposition the river basin authorities that saw his charge on their respective management to establish at least one Integrated Farm (Songhai model) in each of the Senatorial districts across Nigeria.
BORBDA he said took up the challenge in October 2017 and set out on the Obayantor farm site and demarcated 60 hectares of land for the Integrated Farm with all the necessary auxiliary components that make an integrated farm worthwhile incorporated including the construction of concrete ponds, an earthen pond, a 30 pen piggery and a thirty-bed capacity training hostel, a training classroom, etc.
On the farm in Obayantor, the managing director said at some point,it became a showcase to various stakeholders of the potentials and possibilities of this model of farm.
This development he said created the pathway for the establishment of the Okpe and Uneme N’khua farm models with the active support of the Deputy Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon Peter Akpatason.
He said that the Integrated farms established to revamp the agricultural sector and provide employment for our youths and women as well as leverage on it to lift people out of poverty and ensure national food security has been achieving its aim as a revenue earner to the government for the post past three years, but has served as training ground for N-power interns.
He appreciated the supports of the Governor of Edo State Mr Godwin Obaseki and the traditional rulers of the host communities just as he assured of the capacity of the farms to uplift the economy of the various communities and provide training outlets on the best agricultural practices for the local farmers.