Fadama is simply the Hausa word for irrigable land. The Fadama National Project is an initiative funded by the World Bank and it began in 1993.
The aim of the project was to assist Nigerian farmers especially the rural ones with the necessary funds needed to improve their agricultural venture. Interestingly, the project has gained popularity over the years and it is currently in its third phase.
As a result of the introduction of this project, many farmers have greatly improved their farming processes and have evolved from subsistent farmers into commercial farmers.
The current FADAMA Development Project (FADAMA III) provides a funding of $200 million and the focus is on rice cultivation. However, a couple of other staple foods are included as well. These are cassava and sorghum. The intention is to increase production of these staple foods in the regions producing them. Some of the states involved include Kogi, Kano, Lagos, Niger, Enugu and Anambra.
The funding through the FADAMA project has increased the yield per hectare of many farmers as well as the quality of their yield. So far, the FADAMA I, II and III projects have been quite successful. In fact, the current FADAMA III has been received by rural farmers with a lot of optimism.
The focus is primarily on the 6 aforementioned states and their surrounding states which are referred to as the catchment areas. The FADAMA III project is aligned with the government’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) and the financing from the available funds is expected to increase the income of the FADAMA users as well as provide sustainable water resources for their farms.
Also, the project is involved in aggregating and processing for the target market. This means there’s a strong interest in commercializing farming in these regions instead of the usual subsistence level of farming.
The project organizes farmers in to cluster groups in the participating states. Interestingly, the likes of Dangote and Cargill have indicated interest in the FADAMA project by establishing farms as well as processing plants.
Overall, the FADAMA project is expect to cause a sustainable increase in the income of its participants. These include farmers, pastoralists, fishers, hunters and other service providers.
Below are the benefits of the FADAMA project
- Through the funding available, FADAMA provides finance to rural farmers through the Nigerian Agricultural Co-operative and Rural Development Bank.
- It also fosters the interest of the private sector in Agriculture leading to partnership through advisory and technical services.
- It enables rural communities take charge of their development agenda. This is sustainable through their support by means of small-scale infrastructure.
- The FADAMA project also helps the users to be proactive by selecting their preferred agricultural research and advisory services. They can choose to use the private sector in this regard instead of governmental services.
- The areas being served under the FADAMA project don’t just assess financial services on the short term; it is made available over a long period of time.
Additionally, the FADAMA project is expected to engage at least 6000 youths in the agricultural business. These youths can be located in any of the FADAMA states and project is christened GUYSS which means Graduate Unemployment Youth Support Scheme.
You may be wondering how you can get involved in this project if you fall into the specified age bracket.
Well, at the moment, FADAMA cuts across 3 groups of people. The first are the subsistent farmers involved in cultivating cassava, rice and sorghum; as well as those involved in horticulture. Secondly, there are individuals and companies contributing to this value chain in ways like processing of these products. Thirdly, we have the new entrants of which those enrolled under GUYSS are a part of.
If you fall into any of these categories, you can join any of the cluster groups in the participating states. You can learn more by visiting the FADAMA offices in any these states.
The project presently is expected to directly benefit 317 000 farming households and over 114 million households indirectly.
With the inability of the local farmers to adequately meet the nation’s demand of staple foods like cassava and rice, the FADAMA project has certainly been a welcome developement.
On the long run, it is expected that the current project will bolster the production of these staple foods. Also, it is intended that the financial status of many of the rural farmers will be greatly improved as a result of their participation in this initiative.