The Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Joseph Utsev has appealed to state governments and communities to provide land that would encourage farmers to practice irrigated farming.
Utsev in a statement on Friday said this was necessary in line with President Bola Tinubu’s directive to cultivate 500,000 hectares of irrigable agriculture across the twelve River Basins to boost national food production.
The statement quotes the minister as saying this when he paid a visit to Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State at the Government House Benin City.
The minister said his visit was to officially launch the 2023 Dry Season farming through the Benin-Owena River Basin Development Authority.
He announced the commencement of nationwide dry season farming to meet the National food production targets.
He sought the state government’s approval of Title Deeds for acquired lands from communities in the state to facilitate the proposed partial commercialisation of River Basin Development Authorities.
This, he added would encourage Public Private Partnerships in key projects for the benefit of the public.
Utsev highlighted the ministry’s intervention projects in water supply, irrigation, dams, erosion control structures, and sanitation facilities within the Benin Owena River Basin Development Authority catchment areas.
The river Basin covers Edo, Ekiti, Ondo States, and Delta North Senatorial District.
In his response, Gov. Godwin Obaseki, while welcoming the team to the state, stressed the need for synergy between states and the federal government.
He commended the minister’s dedication and urged him to bring fresh perspectives to achieve shared goals.
The governor emphasised collaboration on efficient water use, also urged the Federal Government to consider state water agencies, highlighting the economic potentials of water resources across the country.
The statement quotes both parties expressing commitment to collaborate in areas of irrigation, water supply, dams, and programmes like Partnership for Expanded Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene and Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Sanitation and Hygiene.
Obaseki presented the Alaghodaro Summit Souvenir to the Minister, recognising his visit during the ongoing Edo Economic Summit.