In its effort to sustain rural agricultural development, the members of the National Executive of Borehole Master Drillers Association (AWDROP) on Friday met with Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono to assist in providing adequate water supply for rural farmers through a program tagged: Agro-Rural Water Supply Support Initiative (ARUWASSI).
Speaking during the meeting with the minister, the National President of AWDROP, Engr. Michael Ale commended the federal government through the ministry for their involvement in underground water exploration, when their main mandate is to grow agricultural products for the country.
According to him, this is necessary because agriculture takes 70% of our fresh water out of which over 80% of the fresh water are from the Groundwater”.
He said: “Major subsistence and commercial Agricultural practices takes place in the Rural area which makes Rural Development key in Sustainable Agricultural practices. There can’t be sustained Agriculture production without Groundwater. We are aware of the effect of climate change on our world, which had resulted into many vices and research on climate friendly agricultural practices. Which ever way we may decide, Groundwater is key in sustained Agriculture practice, especially in Africa where it takes years to adapt to new innovation and technology and we are critics to change within the ecosystem.
“Nigerian farmers still find it difficult to practice all seasons farming, which makes some product out of reach during the dry season, whereas all fruit, grains, vegetables, tubers or fibers are produced all seasons in the developed world. This effect has been made possible through the effective management of Groundwater especially in the developed world. AWDROP has great expertise and potential in the development and management of this great resources and is excited with the current partnership with the FMARD though the ARUWASSI Program.
“This program has gained traction in the international Groundwater fora and has received so much attention. One of such is the presentation which will be made in Uganda during the Africa Water Week by Africa Water Association. Honourable Minister Sir, it will be our pleasure to request that two of your mid level officer from the water division of the DRD be sponsored to this event which is in two weeks”, Ale said.
Speaking on benefits of ARUWASSI to promote desirable development in rural farming, Ale extended his deepest appreciation to Mr President, Muhammadu Buhari for deeming it fit to have a separate budgetary allocation line for the support to Master Drillers after association’s pleas for support.
He also commended the National Assembly for their well thought decision to approve it saying the borehole drillers’ desire is to make it a win-win partnership deal between the players.
The AWDROP president therefore enjoined the minister to help strengthen the ARUWASSI Program under the support to Master Drillers budgetary allocation, such that many more programs that will attract donors’ funding will be developed under the initiative.
He also requested that the ministry in partnership with AWDROP should do more on promoting water for Agriculture and Rural livelihood considering the amount of infrastructure investment under ARUWASSI program among other requests to enhance the partnership.
In his welcome address, the Honourable Minister appreciated the visit by the National Executive of AWDROP and promised to hold them responsible for the management of the Drilling Rigs.
He also reiterated on the need to Integrate the ARUWASSI Rural Water program with state governments to enhance better partnership and collaboration.