The Kano State governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has inaugurated a $95 million agro-pastoral development project, a flagship programme anchored on food security and social development.
The objective of the project, which is expected to be implemented within a five-year period, is to contribute to poverty alleviation and strengthening food security in the state.
The project is being financed by the Islamic Development Bank, the Life and Livelihoods Fund (LLF) and other organisations providing concessional financing, while the remaining $5 million (N1.8 billion) would be paid by the state government as its counterpart fund.
Speaking during the project’s inauguration at Tahir Guest Palace in Kano, the governor said it would enhance agricultural productivity and competitiveness through access to input and credit facilities, value addition, market access, extension services, and capacity building.
“The Kano State Agro-Pastoral Development Programme (KSADP) will provide the much-needed solution to farmer-herder conflicts, unfettered nomadism and enhance the development of pastoral communities,” he stated.
“I want to believe that it is only projects such as this one that can curb farmer-herder clashes and security risks, improve farm yields, accelerate livestock production through adoption of modern best practices to improve the economic potentialities of smallholder farmers,” Ganduje added.
“The project will improve the capacity of our herdsmen to produce and process more milk and pave way for quality beef production. We are of the belief that because of the security implication of nomadic lifestyles such as farmer-herders clashes and the fact that the old system of cattle rearing is more cultural than economic, things must change,” he said.
Ganduje assured that the state would ensure the timely release of its counterpart funds of $5 million to facilitate smooth implementation of the project.
Meanwhile, Regional Manager, Islamic Development Bank, Regional Hub of Abuja, Mr Mayoro Niang, explained that the project was aligned to the bank’s five-year plan and the Federal Government’s Economic Empowerment and Poverty Reduction Strategy.
“This five-year project will contribute to poverty reduction and to strengthen food and nutrition security of the vulnerable population in Kano State through sustainable development of selected livestock and crop value chains,” he stressed.
On the workshop, Mr Niang said it is to ensure that the quality of the project is maintained and to guarantee proper orientation on its specifics, under applicable policies and procedures of the bank.
In his remarks, Mr. Jena Jacques, from the Lives and Livelihood Funds, said his organization, a partner of the Islamic Development Bank Group, is glad to work with the Kano state government to make a positive impact on the lives of the poor.
“The fund is delighted to support not only Kano state but also other IsDB member countries to address community health, agriculture and basic infrastructure challenges,” he stated.
He, however, maintained that “Our concessional financing comes with obligations including abiding all our rules and regulations, accurate procurement plan, clear disbursement plan and having maximum project impact, among others.”