IFAD-VCDP: Dry season farming ‘ll mitigate impact of flooding

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)-Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) says it is supporting dry season farming  to mitigate the effects of flooding on farmers and boost food production capacity.

Dr Donal Brown, Associate Vice-President of IFAD, Rome, communicated this when he led a team of IFAD-VCDP officials on field tour of some projects sites of the beneficiaries of the agency’s programme in Enugu.

Brown, who expressed satisfaction with the positive impact of dry season farming on women groups, said it was important to invest more on dry season farming to enhance food production in the country.

According to him, dry season farming is a surest way to replenish farmers’ losses from devastating floods during the rainy season.

“From the testimonies of farmers on the field, dry season farming is more profitable and reliable than wet or rainy season farming.

“I am very impressed with the level of women empowerment through VCPD and I commend the efforts of the beneficiaries.

“What is important in project such as this is that we build the capacity of participants and make them self-reliant through the provision of equipment so that when the project elapsed, they can still remain in business and earn a living,’’ he said.

Brown said that supporting participants would discourage them from too much reliance on government for everything and ensure sustainability of the programme.

Dr Fatima Aliyu, National Programme Coordinator (NPC) of the Federal Government IFAD-VCDP, said the organisation decided to focus more attention on dry season farming due to its huge benefits in agricultural production.

The national coordinator said the organisation had so far empowered no fewer than 4,000 women through the provision of solar powered water pumps free energy pumps for the irrigation of their farms.

She identified the strategy as a stop gap measure to cushion the effects of flooding on farmers with the attendant losses.

“If there is flooding during the rainy season and you lose your crops, you can always recover from the dry season farming.

“Since 2022, we have been suffering a lot of flooding in the VCDP participating states; hence, we decided to invest more in dry season farming in this part of the country which focuses more on rainfall agriculture,” she said.

Evelyn Nwaru Chairperson, Chiamaka Amorji Nenwe Women Multipurpose Cooperative Dry Season Rice Farm, said dry season farming was more profitable than rainy season farming.

She said crops could retain any input applied as the farmers had total control including water which led to better crop yields.

According to her, during wet season all inputs like fertilisers, manure, herbicide, insecticide even the crop can be washed away by flood, but such are usually minimised during the dry season.

“Due to the challenges associated with raining season farming we get more yield and improved seedlings,’’ she said.

Edeh Patricia, another beneficiary of dry season farming, said VCDP had changed her life positively, adding that the programme made her to have passion for farming.

Cecilia Michael, Chairperson, Chinazamekpere Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative Society, said through the programme, the farmers used weighing scale for selling of their products as against the local way of using plate for measurement.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some of the sites visited included Chiamaka Amorji Nenwe Women Multipurpose Dry Season Rice Farm and Chidiebube Nenwe Women Rice Processing Multipurpose Cooperative Society.

Another site visited was Providence Nenwe Aninri Local Government Area Rice Processing facilities.

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