Fadama Farming in Nigeria: The term Fadama is a Hausa name for irrigable land usually low –laying plains underlined by shallow aquifers found along major river systems. Kudi et al (2008). In addition to providing a source of water for livestock during dry seasons, Fadama also support large and diverse resident or transient wildlife including herbivores, carnivores and migratory birds NAFDO (2007). According to Kudi et al. (2002), the word “fadama” (in Hausa language) means a low lying area which is susceptible to periodic (seasonal) flooding.
Fadama farming therefore implies cultivation or growing of crop under irrigation or in the dry season because flood plains are inaccessible during the normal season. According to Ike (2012) Fadama is a tripartite funded intervention by World Bank in 1996, the Federal Government of Nigeria and participating states with objectives targeted towards poverty reduction and thus designed to improve the capacities of beneficiary group. Fadama project is mainly aim at sustaining increase in the income of users of rural land and water resources. The need for all year round improved food production in Nigeria is inevitable with the projected annual population growth rate of 5.5% and food production at annual growth rate of 3.2% World Bank (1996).
The first National Fadama Development (NFDP) was designed in the early 1990s to promote simple low – cost improves irrigation technology under the Word Bank Financing. Ondo/Ekiti states has a total irrigable area of 146,775ha area under Fadama cultivation of maize production between 1997 and 2000 in Ondo State, while 25.5 hectares were used for rice, 113.3 hectares for okro, 1897 hectares for pepper, 288.3 hectares for tomatoes and 317.0 hectares use for amaranthus.
With the success of the completed Fadama projects I, II and III, the Nigerian government wanted to expand the success to the Agricultural Transformation Agenda, which led to the additional financing. The project, which started in 2015, focused on support to value chains of cassava, rice, sorghum and horticulture in six states; Kogi, Niger, Kano, Lagos, Anambra and Enugu. The six states will serve as hubs of Staple Crops Processing Zones (SCPZs), while surrounding states will serve as catchment areas to feed the processing zones. Today, the Fadama development project has dominated most states in Nigeria as other states which to partake in the development.
To participate in the program, farmers are expected to join cluster groups through Fadama Offices in the participating states. The project is expected to reach about 317,000 direct beneficiary households and 1.4 million indirect beneficiary households.
Impacts of FADAMA Farming on Farmers
Socioeconomic characteristics of the respondents showed that the mean age of the respondents was 45.35 years and only 12.3% of them were above 60 years of age. This implies that most of the respondents are still in their productive years and therefore are relevant to the study. Most of the respondents (92.3%) and (93.1%) Were male and married respectively.
Religion of the respondents showed that 71.5% practice Christianity religion while 20.0% practice Islamic religion. This shows that Fadama farming is not in conflict with any of the religions in Nigeria. Most of the respondents (60.0%) have no formal educational certificate and only 9.2% of them have post primary educational certificate. The implication of this is that most of respondents cannot have access to agricultural information through print media and in official language. Most of the respondents have their household size between 5 and 8 persons.
This also indicates that most of their farm produce will be consumed by family members as food and family members can also serve as farm labourers. Most of the respondents practice farming on full-time basis. Majority of the Apata and Saliu; AJEA, 10(4): 1-7, 2016; respondents (83.2%) take trading as other income generating activity. This reveals that since respondents have other sources of income they may not invest all their resources such as time and money in agricultural activities. They may have to share these among activities. Most of the respondents have experience above 10years.
This means that farming is not new to them and they must have gotten some indigenous knowledge about farming activities. Only 22.3% and 7.7% of the respondents got agricultural information through mass media and extension agents respectively. This implies that both mass media and extension agents are performing below their expectations in the area of agricultural information dissemination and this can hamper agricultural and rural development in the country.
Annual Income of the Respondents
It is noted that 3.8% of fadama respondents and 36.2% non-fadama respondents have less than 200,000.00 naira from their farming activities annually. On the other hand, 15.4% fadama respondents and 2.3% non-fadama respondents make between 401,000.00 and 600.000.00 naira annually. It is also observed that 1.5% fadama respondents make above 1,000,000.00 naira annually while no non-fadama respondents make such. It therefore shows that fadama respondents have higher annual income than their non-fadama respondents counterpart.
Benefits and Constraints of Fadama is revealed that access to loan and agricultural information were identified as additional benefits of participation in fadama project by 50.0% and 33.1% of the respondents respectively. This may be the reason why participants have higher productivity than non-participants. Agricultural information and agricultural loan are the most important prerequisites for higher agricultural productivity.
On the other hand, low awareness (43.1%) and inadequate funding (43.8%) are identified as major constraints to participation in fadama project. This implies that more awareness of the project should be created among farmers especially where fadama project has not been taken place and all stake holders should be faithful to their financial contribution towards the project.
Farmers from all over the states in the country have expressed gratitude to the sponsors of the Fadama for blessing their lives, some say ‘goodness has visited them.’ indeed goodness has.
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