The House of Representatives on Tuesday in Abuja urged government at all levels to embrace irrigation farming as a way of forestalling an outbreak of famine in the country.
This followed the unanimous adoption of a motion under matters of urgent public importance moved by Abdulrahman Abubakar (APC-Adamawa).
The House urged the three tiers of government to intensify efforts by providing improved seeds, pesticides, fertiliser and implements to actualise irrigation farming as a way of increasing food production in the country
Moving the motion, Abubakar described irrigation farming as one of the most important rural development investment that could have both direct and indirect impacts on poverty and security.
He said that if government supported irrigation, it would increase productivity and income of farmers in the country.
Abubakar said this would free farmers from being dependent on rain to grow crops year round and to grow more high value crops.
“Nigeria has one of the best agro-ecology to grow variety of crops.
“Nigeria’s cultivable land has been estimated to about 71.2 million hectares but less than 50 per cent is put to use due to water constraint.
“The output per hectare has been reducing due to erratic rainfall distribution.
“In this present drop in the price of crude oil, there is no other time we have to bring revolution to agriculture other than now.
“Let it begin now with irrigation farming,’’ the legislator said.
The House in its resolution urged the Ministry of Water Resources to urgently provide, through various River Basin Development Authorities, water from dams and reservoirs for irrigation farming.
It also urged all tiers of government to ensure that boreholes were provided to serve the farms in areas where there were no dams or reservoirs.