A Professor of Soil and Water Engineering at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Prof. Johnson Kayode Adewumi has called on the Federal Government to help farmers construct effective conservation measures to reduce the effect of erosion on their farmlands before rainstorm.
Delivering the 76th Inaugural Lecture of FUNAAB, Prof. Adewumi emphasized the need for construction of drainage around farms, establishment of contour bunds, construction of conservation measures and water harvesting techniques to alleviate problems of yearly flooding and loss of valuable farm produce to prevent possible famine in view of climate change.
In his Lecture titled, Soil and Water Dynamics as the Eleventh Commandment, held at the Oluwafemi Balogun Ceremonial Building, Prof. Adewumi stressed that using the water harvesting techniques will increase farmers’ productive capacity.
The Professor of Soil and Water Engineering noted that in addition to field water harvesting techniques, irrigation practices should also be introduced to allow farming activities during the dry season period.
According to him, “Conflicts of farmers and herdsmen that have become a serious socio-economic factor that affects production and productivity of any scheme can be eradicated if the Government can establish grazing areas for farmers under the River-Basin Development Agency (RBDA)”.
He stressed that for there to be a realistic sustainable effort, irrigation projects must be made participatory and decentralized, adding that this will encourage locally driven assistance which produces sustainable impact over a long term.
Prof. Adewumi stated that there is need to restructure the RBDAs in such a way that it will be client centered, stressing that it will ensure that demand is met and field workers adequately support community self-management.
The Inaugural Lecturer, who is of the Department of Agricultural and Bio-resources Engineering, College of Engineering (COLENG) of FUNAAB, stressed that for any sustainable effort, irrigation project must be made to be participatory, saying this would encourage local assistance, which produces sustainable impact over the long term.
He added that the Federal Government, must out of goodwill, release grants for rehabilitation of these projects for onward privatisation and joint management for all River Basin Development Agencies (RBDAs).
He however, revealed that the conflict between farmers and herdsmen had been recognised as a serious socio-economic factor that could affect production and productivity of any scheme and urged the government to established grazing areas “for farmers that are not under RBDAs.”
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Babatunde Kehinde in his appreciation for the success of the Inaugural Lecture gave the inaugural Lecturer a big hug, showing that he is very satisfied with the success of the lecture.
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