In Katsina state, there is no seasonal punctuation of planting. This is due to the Jibia Dam project, an irrigation social investment with reservoir capacity of 140.0 mcm, connected to an area of cultivation of 3,500 hectares, reports Zacheaus Somorin
Rain is crucial to agriculture because crops require water to be nurtured and nourished and to grow to maturity.
That is the reason most crops, in the Southern part of Nigeria, are planted during the rainy season, that is, between October and May.
But there are societies where virtually all crops are planted all-year round regardless of whether it is rainy or dry season. Katsina State perfectly fits into this category of societies.
“There is no seasonal interruption in the planting of crops here”, one of the farmers in Jibia, who simply identified himself as Umaru, boasted.
Indeed, the uninterrupted farming in Jibia and environs has been made possible by Jibia Dam, an irrigation project with a reservoir capacity of 140.0mcm and area of cultivation of 3,500 hectares.
As at 2007 when Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema took the mantle of leadership in Katsina State, farm yield in the state, as a result of the intervention of the irrigation project, was a mere 100 hectares.
Shema not only developed the dam to increase the yield by several percentages, and by 2011 when he was rounding off his term in office, about 12,000 hectares of land had been committed to irrigation state-wide.
Principal crops grown in the Jibia sector include beans, groundnut, maize, pepper, wheat, onion, lettuce, cabbage, sweet potato, Irish potato, pumpkin, and sweat melon.
THISDAY gathered that there are at least nine other irrigation projects scattered across Katsina supporting farming system with human-controlled moisture environment regimes, leading to the growing of almost any type of crop depending on market demand throughout the year.