The Federal Government says it will commence construction of irrigation facilities and feeder roads in seven states by May under its Agricultural Transformation Support Programme Phase one (ATASP-1).
The National Coordinator of ATASP-1, Haruna Akwashiki, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday, that the projects would be in communities of Kebbi, Sokoto, Niger, Kano, Jigawa, Enugu and Anambra States.
“We have been able to mobilise both consultants and contractors to the field.
“The consultants are designing the irrigation schemes and feeder roads while the contractors are working on our social infrastructures for the construction of 35 primary schools, 14 community health centres, 63 boreholes, 63 VIP toilets, 14 community markets and construction of seven technology demonstration centres.
“The construction of the social infrastructures will end by April 2017 while the design of the irrigation schemes and feeder roads will be completed by the middle of April 2017.
“By our plan, the construction of the irrigation schemes and feeder roads will commence by May 2017.’’
He said the projects would provide enabling environment necessary for private sector investments and businesses to thrive in the rural areas.
Akwashiki said that the programme would also reduce the importation of rice, boost cassava and sorghum production and encourage exportation.
He said that 1,300 kilometres of irrigation water canals would also be constructed in the seven States; 280km in Kebbi, Sokoto-175km, Niger-220km, Kano-230km, Enugu-125km, Anambra-75km and Jigawa-195km.
Akwashiki said that programme would construct another 1,330 kilometres of feeder roads as well as 63 potable water supply and sanitation schemes in those State.
ATASP-1 is a programme developed by the African Development Bank and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for food and nutrition security, employment generation and wealth creation through the rice, cassava and sorghum value chains.
The Federal Government with 152 million dollars and the AfDB with 23 million dollars are funding it.