A N100milion research to seek out ways to solve the problem of soil salinity and sodicity affecting tomato and rice farmers under the Kano River Irrigation Project has been launched.
The research which was launched by the federal government through the Transforming Irrigation Management in Nigeria (TRIMING) is being undertaken by experts from Bayero University Kano and the International Crop Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).
It has been reported that over 22,000 hectares of farmlands in Kura, Bunkure and Garun-Malam local governments are high on the concentration of salt and sodium which are not favorable to plant growth.
While addressing newsmen during a 1-day workshop organized by TRIMING and its partners, Hallai Garba, the project’s business specialist said they are committed to ensuring that the problem is addressed so farmers can get returns on investment.
He said, “Literature has it that 30-40 percent of agricultural productivity from KRIP project area has been lost to soil sodicity and salinity.
“On the average, the productivity per hectare here is expected to be about 4-5 tons but the best a farmer gets in Kano river irrigation project now is just 3-3.5 tons per hectare.
“So the intention of this particular research is to really train the farmers, working along with them; some institutions like BUK, ICRISAT and one other institution are collaborating together to try to proffer solutions on how the farmers can actually address this particular problem so that the losses attributed to it can be actually addressed or reduced to the barest minimum”.