The challenge before all of us is how to turn the rural sector around to become productive, efficient and remunerative with the view to seriously tackling the employment problem and considerably slowing down the massive rural exodus. In other words, the objective here is to make Agriculture a competitive and viable venture for the rural people.
Agricultural growth must therefore be seen as key to rural development and the eradication of poverty and that it requires the concomitant development of the secondary and tertiary sectors. Agriculture does not develop by itself, but requires a complex institutional system to support it – market its products, and provide inputs, credits and technology and management.
Capable hands abound for agricultural activities as about 80% of rural dwellers are actively involved in agricultural sector. However, the production is not commensurate with such high human resources involved due to the use of primitive and outdated farming tools and methods. The resulting effect can be
- Unsustainable livelihoods due to low-yield subsistence farming methods
- Improper use of chemical product for farming food crops resulting in environmental degradation and the treats on consumer’s health.
- Absence of technical assistance, limiting opportunities for rural income generation
- Untapped opportunity to build local product markets
- Food insecurity
This has resulted in the aggravation of poverty and rural decay including poor education of its populace, high urban growth and rural exodus. In some cases, this has led to an increased pressure on rural communities to migrate to urban areas and elsewhere or an increase in conflict.
The result of the assessment of two co-operative groups from Tugwan Kwaso and Tugwan Majee communities highlighted some key specific and common challenges.
- Low yield per area and poor post-harvest management.
- One cycle per year cultivation of crops
- Use of inorganic herbicide and pesticide to control weed and protect plant which may come an unsustainable practice environmentally and consumer health wise.
- Low output per farmer, inefficient land preparing and general farming techniques
- Poor market prices for their commodities
- Absences of a proper farm data collection, analysis and management system.
- Poor accessibility to agricultural education and changing trends in the industries
- Land ownership structure.
- Inadequate social amenities’ in the communities which reduces increase commitment to farming
The objectives of the women in agriculture solar powered irrigation pilot project (WASPIPP) are in line with the realization of the MDGs as well as the main thrust of Jummai Aduda Organisation, The objectives include:
- To develop a resilient integrated program that links agriculture with industry and commerce.
- To establish farms that will serve as model for youths and women in the region.
- To broaden the socio-economic bandwidth in the region -contribute to the improvement of the economy through aggressive production, processing and marketing of agricultural products and related services.
- To improve the annual productivity of women and youths in the region from their farms (through irrigation and improved cultural practices).
- To provide improved planting materials for farmers in the region and beyond.
- To open up markets linkages for farmers produce.
- To reverse rural-urban migration.
- To encourage the practice of sustainable farming systems