Jacob Ajakaiye, in Kano
The Kano state Agro–Pastoral Development Project, a $95 million venture largely supported by the Islamic Development Bank, will be formally unveiled next December, at the project’s start-ups and stakeholders workshop in Kano, the state capital.
The Islamic Development Bank is contributing $90 million while the Kano State government will put in $5 million to the project, which will be implemented over a five-year period.
The project aims to support the state government to develop pastoral communities, address security and other challenges caused by transhumance, ensure natural resources management, agricultural productivity enhancement, value addition and market access improvement, rural infrastructure provision and institutional capacity strengthening for smallholder farmers, among other things.
Nur Abdi, the manager, agriculture global practice (Economic and Social Infrastructure), Islamic Development Bank, revealed this during high level discussions with the state governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje on Wednesday morning, in Kano.
“This project is the bank’s biggest investment in Nigeria, the biggest in one approval and the biggest in any state. That is why we are so much paying attention to it. We are inviting other partners like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, BMF, to the workshop to showcase the commitment of Kano to the success of the project,” Abdi stated.
“It will contribute to the prosperity of Kano – that is why I am here from the bank’s headquarters in Jeddah, to discuss implementation arrangement project design,” he further said.
He explained that in line with the bank’s commitment to assist member countries and as a demand-driven institution, he had met with the project management unit, whereby it was agreed that option should be considered for Babban Gona, one of the pre-selected key service providers for the project.
Abdi stressed the need for the state government to expedite release of its counterpart funding to the project to enable certain activities start in earnest and commended the project management unit, for speeding up preparation of the project documents and planning of activities.
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, in his remark, said the project idea was conceived “to transform challenges inherent in pastoralism and agriculture in the state to opportunities for economic growth and enhancement”.
“We intend to transform the practice of herdsmen from a socio-cultural livelihood to a modern socio-economic venture. We want to prevent the movement of people and cattle to other parts of the country on foot because of the security implications,” he stressed.
Consequently, Ganduje stated that to complement the Kano State Agro-Pastoral Development Project, his administration has commissioned experts to draft a blue print for the development of ranching areas within the state, which would entail critical dams water point and other critical infrastructure, as part of effort to curtail nomadic lifestyles.
“We will also build a modern abattoir to replace movement of cattle with transportation of processed meat. We are also laying emphasis on animal development that is why we sent 72 children of herdsmen to Turkey, to learn animal insemination”, Ganduje said.
The governor, who affirmed personal commitment to the success of the Kano State Agro-Pastoral Development Project, promised full cooperation and timely release of funds, to keep things going. He charged the Project Management Unit to be dedicated, transparent and accountable to make the set goals achievable.
Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, the state’s deputy governor, Ibrahim Sulaiman Dan Isle, managing director of KNARDA, the state agriculture agency, Ibrahim Garba Muhammad, project coordinator, Kano State Agro-Pastoral Development Project, and Mahamane Moussa of the Abuja Regional Hub, Islamic Development Bank, contributed to the dialogue.