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    HomeCrops ProductionFarmers lament as dam closure halts dry season farming activities in Kano

    Farmers lament as dam closure halts dry season farming activities in Kano

    Dry season farmers in Kano State that are within the Kadawa irrigation scheme site, have expressed fears that someone somewhere is sabotaging the authority’s goodwill in ensuring the timely kick-off of the 2024 dry season farming activities.

    The farmers lamented as the major source of water to about five local government areas in the state has been closed down for weeks.

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    The farmers claimed that the closure, which commenced over two weeks ago, has negatively affected preparations towards their agricultural activities for this year’s dry season farming as vast hectares of land have been left untended due to lack of water.

    Daily Trust has gathered that preparations by many dryseason farmers have been halted due to the closure of the water supply channels.

    According to a dry season farmer, Malam Hudu Ubale, he is aware that yearly, the Hadejia Jama’are River Basin Development Authority (HJRBDA) closed the major source of water which is the Tiga mega dam for annual routine maintenance.

    He explained, however, that farmers were not informed of this year’s closure and as such many of them, especially tomato farmers, have been seriously affected.

    “Look around you, you will be forced to feel the pains of the farmers here. When we were busy getting prepared for the season, we just noticed that the water had stopped flowing. This has pulled us back and has also affected the planting calendar which may seriously affect our yield if care is not taken.

    “We suspect foul play here, because why would it be always at this point and without notice?” he queried.

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    It was also revealed that activities at the over 22,000 hectares in all the irrigation sites have been so minimal because farmers were forced to halt their preparation for rice, tomato, cucumber and other vegetable plantations for the season.

    However, a source close to HJRBDA told our reporter that the closure is in line with the authority’s water discharge operation modules.

    The source added that farmers along the axis were fully aware of the processes and as such they needed not to claim ignorance.

    Similarly, HJRBDA’s Public Relations Officer, Malam Salisu Baba Hamza, stated that there is no cause for alarm about the dam closure, adding that the process has been a yearly phenomenon and that farmers ought to have known better.

    He said though the management of the water supply from the dam has been fully handed over to the farmers through the Water Users Association (WUA), the closure is in line with the agreed calendar, adding that another reason is connected with the WUA’s move to reclaim water usage dues from the farmers.

    “Annually, there has been a scheduled water channels routine management process that entails closing the channels to remove grasses that have grown over the rainy season as well as to effect some repairs that were needed.

    “WUA officially requested for it and the process is ongoing. It is going to last for only two weeks,” he said.

    However, another farmer, Malam Shehu Idris said, the closure of the water is a deliberate attempt to get to defaulters among water users”, although with negative effect on other farmers.”

    He advised that the calendar should be made available to all water users and be reviewed to give room for all farmers to prepare.

    Daily Trust.

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