Notes to broadcasters
Irrigated farming is changing the livelihoods of farmers in Kwadon, a rural community in Gombe state, northeastern Nigeria. Located along a federal road, Kwadon village is easily accessible. Hills and streams surround the community, giving it a good climate, suitable for irrigated and livestock farming. Because of this potential, the people of Kwadon have over the years been involved in growing maize, onions and tomatoes during the rainy season, using traditional methods and tools. For decades, the vegetable market in Kwadon has attracted people every Monday from major Nigerian cities; they come to buy vegetables in large quantities for distribution to the southern part of the country.
Before the beginning of irrigated farming, farmers in Kwadon were mainly subsistence farmers, and barely had enough food or income for their needs. The location of Kwadon and its contributions to agriculture attracted an NGO, Sasakawa Global 2000, which built the capacity of farmers in irrigated farming. Unlike seasonal farming that depends on rainfall, irrigated farming uses various sources of water such as wells, boreholes and nearby streams, using a pump and long hose pipes or watering cans to water the soil and crops.
To further support irrigated farming, the Gombe State Ministry of Agriculture trained farmers on how to make and use organic manure, and provided them with fertilizer at subsidized prices. With improved capacity and skills, farmers have now diversified their agricultural activities and sources of income, growing irrigated lettuce, cabbage, onions and maize in addition to their rainy season farming.
New farmers’ groups have emerged and are collaborating with the State Agricultural Development Project (SADP). Through these groups, farmers access improved varieties of seedlings, and share ideas on farming and irrigation. Some of them have dug boreholes, and purchased water pumps to enhance their work. Smallholder farmers also attend their workshops and participate in radio discussion programs on agriculture.
This script talks about the benefits of irrigated farming in Kwadon, and looks at how it has improved the lives of people, as well as its impact on agriculture in the area.
This script is based on an actual interview, conducted with a farmer in northern Nigeria. To produce this script on your station, you might choose to use a voice actor to represent the farmer and host, and change the wording in the script to make it suitable for your local situation. If so, please make sure to tell your audience at the beginning of the program that the voices are those of actors, not the original people involved in the interview, and that the program has been adapted for your local audience, but is based on a real interview.
Because of the importance this program attaches to the economic prosperity of farmers, we will talk to a farmer from Kwadon, in Yamaltu Deba Local Government Area in Gombe State, northern Nigeria, to discuss how irrigated farming improves the income of rural farmers.
I rode a distance of seven kilometres on my motorcycle from Gombe to Kwadon to meet Mallam Mammada on his farm. He is a farmer both of rainy season and of irrigated crops. He has harvested his maize, cabbage, and lettuce and is preparing to plant the same crops in the dry season as part of his irrigation project.
Mallam Mammada, can you tell our listeners what you are doing right now?
Contributed by: Adamu Musa Okonkwo, Gombe State Media Corporation, Gombe, Nigeria, a Farm Radio International radio partner.
Reviewed by: Umar Baba Kumo, Gombe State Media Corporation, and Alan Etherington, independent consultant in water, sanitation and hygiene promotion, and ex-WaterAid staff.