Project description:

Increasing changes in rainfall patterns as a result of climate change is already threatening local rice cultivation and making it pretty difficult to plough rice fields after the very first rain in Uboma. The resulting harvest shrinkage and diminishing income, is being further exacerbated by endemic water mismanagement and inappropriate land use by farmers which have led to massive soil erosion and loss of the soil’s productive capacity.Also, limited potential for dry season rice cultivation through soil and water conservation, and the non-employment of rain water harvesting technologies have continued to widen the increasing demand-supply gap for rice. The consequence is threatened food security and livelihood for hundreds of local rice farmers and people in Uboma and other parts of Nigeria that hitherto had rice supplies from these farms. The project aims to substantially boost rice harvests and raise the income of local rice farmers in Uboma Nigeria, through a coterie of television and on-the farm adaptive practices that builds the capacity of the farmers on structural and management measures that conserves water, control soil degradation and enhances productivity in the field hence effectively adapting to changes in rainfall patterns as a result of climate change. By facilitating improved on-farm water management, we seek to enable rice farmers make multiple harvests in one year.  The project will work over a total duration of 18months, supporting about 500 rice farmers to undertake integrated watershed development based on rainwater harvesting for the regeneration and sustainable management of the rain-fed low land rice farms. These will be leveraged by developing a supply chain model that blends the use of improved technologies, farmer capacity building with commercial linkages to credible market outlets (such as processing mills) etc. Farmers in Uboma have been cultivating about 8,000 hectares of land through rain fed agriculture in the last several years, but the situation has deteriorated to less than 2,000 hectares following massive onslaught of climate change events. We aim to achieve at least a 5% reversal within the project cycle i.e. bringing back an extra 400 hectares to full cultivation. About 500 rice farmers will be trained and supported to adopt on their farms, structural and management measures that holds or diverts flood water into holding ponds through the construction of about 100 diversion and infiltration ditches vital for all year round on-farm water supplies hence boosting production and income by 50% for the farmers within the project’s duration.

A Long Walk with Uboma Rice Farmers

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