In pursuit of development and promotion of the sorghum value chain, the Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Program Phase One (ATASP 1), a program of African Development Bank and Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with ICRISAT organized the 2019 Sorghum Mega Field day and award ceremony for Kebbi/Sokoto Staple Crop Porcessing Zones(SCPZ) at Kataru Village, Suru Local Government Area, Kebbi State on Wednesday, 13th November, 2019.
In his opening remark, the Zonal Programme Coordinator, ATASP-1, Dr Aliyu Abubakar laid out some of the notable achievements of ATASP-1 in the past three years to include; the construction of several social and auxiliary infrastructures (schools i, clinics, water projects, markets for rice and sorghum) across many communities to strengthen smallholder farmers in the two states.
He further said that the program will continue to tackle the challenges facing farmers in the state through massive infrastructure development that include surface irrigation facilities and access roads of several kilometers across the states.
The Country Representative of International Crop Research Institute for Semi Arid Tropics Dr. Hakeem Ajeigbe extensively explained the nutritional benefits of the Sorghum varieties being promoted by ATASP-1 and the market opportunities that exist in the Sorghum Value Chain. He also introduced the ATASP-1 Young Farmers Clubs present and gave the rationale behind promoting Agriculture at the Schools level by the program.
In this speech, the ATASP-1 National Program Coordinator, Dr. Ibrahim Arabi, who was represented by ATASP-1 National Agribusiness Specialist, Alhaji Adekunle Alege, expressed his appreciation to all the program stakeholders especially the beneficiaries for the wonderful support and cooperation given to the project and assured them of the project commitment to deliver all the expected infrastructural component of the project.
Other speakers at the event include the representative of the Secretary to the Kebbi State Government, Alhaji Sanusi Umar Illo (the programme coordinator, Kebbi State Agricultural & Rural Development Authority-KARDA), the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Alhaji Muhammad Lawal Shehu and the Speaker Kebbi State House of Assembly who was represented by the House Committee Chairman on Agriculture Alhaji Ibrahim Tiggi who commended the effort of ATASP-1 and ICRISAT in achieving tremendous success in the state.
Highlights of the event include the demonstration of Agricultural Machines that includes Hammer Mill, Stub Crusher etc. and display of processed products of sorghum and rice by ICRISAT and AFRICARICE. Several item were distributed to awardees that includes Hammer Mill, Stub Crusher, Several bags of Fertilizer, Seeds, Knapsack Sprayers, Mechanical Weeders , Certificates etc.
The event was attended by dignitaries from both Kebbi and Sokoto States, some of which include the Secretary to Kebbi State Government represented by the Programme Manager, KARDA, Alhaji Sanusi Umar Illo; Speaker, Kebbi State House of Assembly, represented by House Committee Chairman on Agriculture Alhaji Ibrahim Tiggi; Permanent Secretary, Kebbi State Ministry of Agriculture Alhaji Lawal Shehu; Desk Officers, Projects Coordinating Units of Federal Ministry of Agriculture of Kebbi and Sokoto States; representative of ATASP-1 National Program Coordinator, ICRISAT Country Representative, Director of Agriculture SuruLGA, Traditional Rulers, the Zonal Programme Coordinator, ATASP-1, , amongst others.