The Kano State Agro Pastoral Development Project (KSADP) has awarded a N314 million contract for the upgrading of the Watari Irrigation Scheme built 40 years ago to facilitate rice production.
A statement by Mr Ameen Yassar, Communication Specialist of the project, on Wednesday, in Kano, quoted the KSADP coordinator, Ibrahim Mohammed, as saying that the contract was awarded to Hajaig Nigeria Ltd at the cost of N314, 454, 625. 80.
“The scope of work includes repair of gully erosion on the embankment; desilting of the main canal and drainages as well as repairs of the reservoir.
“The project intends to open up 1,000 additional hectares of land, to enable more people in the area to engage in farming,” Muhammad said.
He noted that the Watari Irrigation Scheme, sited in Bagwai Local Government area of the state, was established to encourage rice and horticulture production, but that the dam and its auxiliary infrastructure had not been maintained since construction, in spite of its potentials for agriculture and rural development.
According to him, KSADP was being implemented with the support of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the Lives and Livelihoods Fund (LLF), a development organisation.
He said the project was focused on enhancing crop value chain, livestock production, as well as livelihoods, while urging farmers and other stakeholders in the area to cooperate with the contractor to ensure speedy completion of the project.
The statement also quoted Mr Kaseem Hajaig, representative of the contracting firm, as assuring that the project would be completed within the three months provided for in the agreement.