Fadama farming has contributed significantly to Nigeria’s agriculture in particular and the country in general, but the contributions have remained largely unmeasured. As a result, this study examined the influence of the National Fadama Development Project on Fadama farmers in Kano State. Primary and secondary data were sought. A set of questionnaires was developed and information was collected from 108 respondents who were randomly selected from the three agricultural zones in the study area. Multiple regression analysis and simple statistical tools, such as, means, frequency, range and percentages were used to realize the objectives of the study. Analysis of the data revealed that fadama farming was a profitable venture among the farmers studied. A majority of respondents owned and purchased their farm land and the houses they lived in. A large percentage also owned radio, television, bicycle and irrigation pump. Water from tube-wells and wash bores were used for irrigation and drinking. The customary land system was practiced in the study area. About 46% of the respondents inherited their farm land while 26.9% purchased theirs. Majority of respondents practiced mixed cropping to ensure maximum plot utilization. There was efficient use of facilities provided by the loan package. Inputs such as pumps, fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides were used by farmers. Respondents also admitted adequate visit to farms by extension agents. There was a significant difference between the average income of the two groups (beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries) at a probability level of 95%. Some constraints, such as, high cost of farm inputs, chronic shortage of petrol and petroleum products, seasonal glut of some perishable agricultural commodities, poor storage facilities, poor access roads to Fadama areas and difficulties in getting registered as members of Fadama Users Association (FUA), were experienced by respondents. Recommendations included subsidization of prices of fertilizers and other farm inputs, frequent conduct of soil survey to determine level of salinity, creation of more micro credit facilities to enhance productivity and provision of infrastructural facilities.

1.1      Background Information
Agricultural production in Nigeria remains essentially traditional with cultivation largely undertaken at individual level using local implements (Abdullahi, 1983). This traditional method and the subsistence nature of agricultural production help in perpetuating the vicious cycle of poverty and restricting the farmer’s ability to embrace modern technology (Bala, 1992). The food security situation in Nigeria has been deteriorating over the past 15 to 20 years. Per capital food production has declined more than 15% in the past 20 years (UN, 1992).

As a way of boosting agricultural production, government introduced modern irrigation scheme in the country. Although the concept of irrigation farming has been practiced in Nigeria for several decades, the introduction of modern irrigation is a government initiative.

Modern irrigation in Nigeria can be traced back to the pioneering efforts of Colonel Collins, a British Colonial officer who, after a survey of the irrigation potentials of Northern Nigeria in the 1900s, developed 243 hectares of land for irrigation. This was followed in 1949 by the establishment of an irrigation division in the Ministry of Agriculture of the Northern Region with the main objective of initiating small-scale irrigation schemes (Dawakintofa, 1989).

Another major step in irrigation development in Nigeria was the Food and Agricultural Organizations (FAO) report of 1965, which stressed the need for the Federal Government’s active involvement in planned water resources and irrigation development for the country. Consequent upon the Food and Agricultural Organization’s report, the Chad and the Sokoto Rima-Basin Development Authority was established by Decree numbers 32 and 33 of 14th August, 1973.Kano State Government,(1995). In 1976, the River Basin Development Authorities were expanded to eleven in number by Decree number 36 of 25th June and Decree Number 37 of 3rd August, 1976 (Dawakintofa, 1989). These Authorities were charged with the responsibilities of constructing and maintaining dams, polders, wells, boreholes and drainage systems for irrigation purposes. There was also the Bakolori Irrigation Scheme, which was established in consonant with the laid down guidelines for irrigation development (KNARDA Baseline Survey, 1993).

These schemes attracted generous funding from government. Inspite of the enormous sum of money (2.25 billion) and the facilities provided, the schemes had limited success (Samorock, 1983). For instance, the total irrigated area proposed to be accomplished by the River Basin Development Authorities for the Nation was 1,999,139 hectares (Nwa and Martins, 1982). But as at 1980, only 25,754 hectares had been developed. Only about 77,369 hectares were expected to be developed by 1991 (Abdullahi et al, 1989). This is about 4% of the total land meant for development. Salihu (1986) and Dawakintofa (1989) attributed the limited success of the early irrigation schemes to the fact that the plans were developed without much consideration of economic and social problems.

"Fadama" is an Hausa word meaning low-lying swamp area consisting of fluvial deposit and containing extensive exploitable aquifers" (Gandi and Radashekara, 1989). Fadama also refers to a seasonally flooded area used for farming during the dry season. It is defined as an alluvial, low land formed by erosion and depositional action of the rivers and streams (Qureshi, 1989). The extent and subsurface formation of the Fadama land depend on the terrain over which the rivers are formed and flowed.

They can also be referred to as flood prone, low lying, slow drainage areas that generally possess a finer texture and less acid soils. Fadama lands are regarded as very rich agricultural areas. They encompass land and water resources that could easily be developed for irrigation agriculture (World Bank, 1992). In Nigeria, this type of rich irrigable land can be found along the flood plains of the Niger, Sokoto-Rima, Benue, Nassarawa, Yobe and Hedejamaari river....

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Attribute: 63 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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