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 on Wednesday, 13th November, 2019.
In his opening remark, the Zonal Programme Coordinator, ATASP-1, Dr Aliyu Dogondaji laid out some of the notable achievements of ATASP-1 in the past three years to include; the execution of several rice, sorghum and rural infrastructures (schools in Tukurwa community, Dandi LGA, clinics in Sabon Tunga, Suru LGA, 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 and value chain development.
In this speech, the National coordinator, International Crops Research for the Semi-Arid and Tropics, Alhaji Adekunle Alade, laid emphasis on the nutritional and economic values of sorghum. He believes that sorghum is the best legume and is a better alternative to millet and barley.
It is a great source of zinc and iron. He further argued that an increased cultivation of sorghum will definitely reduce the farmers-herdsmen crisis which is a major problem facing the country. This is because an average sorghum field can produce 8 tonnes of crop residue which is used as animal feed.
Other speakers at the event include the representative of the Secretary to the Kebbi State Government, Alhaji Sanusi Illo(the programme coordinator, Kebbi State Rural Development Agency-KARDA), the permanent secretary ministry of agriculture, Ahmed Sanusi. They all commended ATASP-1 and ACRISAT for their achievements in rural development and food availability and assured them of more supports from the Kebbi state government.
Highlights of the event include the demonstration of a hammer mill machine by the, National Coordinator, ICRISAT, Alhaji Adekunle Alade and display of processed products of sorghum and other crops by some participants. Moreover, farms inputs and machineries such as bags of fertilizer, seeds, insecticides, sorghum grinding machine were presented to male and female beneficiaries chosen from each of the local government areas in the zone. Special awards were also presented to the best farmers, best facilitators and best processor group.
The event was attended by dignitaries from the state and Sokoto, some of which include the Secretary to the State Government represented by the Programme Manager, KARDA, Alhaji, Sanusi Illo; the Zonal Programme Coordinator, ATASP-1, Dr Aliyu Dogondaji; Dr Hakeem Ajeigbe, the country’s representative ICRISAT; the National Coordinator, ICRISAT, Alhaji Adekunle Alade; the permanent secretary Ministry of Agriculuture, Ahmed Shehu, community leaders representing some of the villages under the zone, amongst others.
The award for the best facilitator group went to Government Secondary School, Kamba.