FG to build, revive 360 dams, lakes

The Federal Government says it will construct no fewer than 10 lakes and dams each in the 36 states of the federation to boost irrigation farming in 2017.

Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, disclosed the plan on Thursday in Abuja while highlighting some of

the proposed 2017 plans to boost agricultural production in the country.

He noted that Oyo State had no fewer than 22 unutilised dams, Ogun – 12, Kano – 23 dams while Imo had many moribund lakes and dams, which would be cleaned up and utilised in 2017.

The minister said that the Goronyo, Bakalori, Shagari dams, which had been abandoned would be cleaned up and used for irrigation farming.

Ogbeh said the government would also distribute fertilisers and chemicals to farmers for dry season farming, adding that the Federal Government was expecting delivery of large tonnes of fertilisers within the next few weeks.

He listed some other agricultural activities to be embarked on within the year to include improvement of cattle breeds, establishment of cattle colonies in states to confine cows in a place.

Others are procurement of more rice mills for distribution to communities, vegetable oil mills, tractors and improved seeds.

He said that cashew processing factories would also be established in the country to facilitate exportation of cashew to other countries.

Ogbeh said that the implementation of the plans which had been included in the 2017 budget would commence as soon as monies were released.

“This year, we will work on dams, we are also going to start improving the breed of cows to improve the quality of meat, milk and cut down grazing and conflicts between herdsmen and farmers.

“We are looking at building cattle colonies in the states that are willing to give us land to confine cows in one place.

“We will also prioritise processing of cassava leaves, maize tusk, groundnut shells for feeding cows and slowly persuade the Fulani herdsmen to stop roaming their cows.” (NAN)

•Agric Minister Ogbeh.

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