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FG to explore solar energy for irrigation

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PLANS are afoot for massive distribution of solar-powered water pumps to farmers across the country by Federal Government to boost national food supply programme.

Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Heineken Lokpobiri, dropped this hint yesterday while playing host to a delegation of EuroBase Consult Limited in Abuja.

According to him, the programme which targets rural farmers as primary beneficiaries would be partnership driven.

“The Federal Government would be interested in partnering with the company to provide solar pumping machines that are durable, affordable knowing full well that most of our farmers are subsistence and poor farmers. This is why this class of farmers is its primary target,” Lokpobiri said.

Highlighting the necessity of solar irrigation in addressing problems within the water cycle and its nexus to mechanised farming, in his response, leader of the delegation, Don Ekesiobi, noted that shortfall in energy supply has continued to thwart all-year-long, non-seasonal irrigation farming, and consequently drains the national food base.

“Problems faced by farmers include the lack of infrastructure to access grid, inconsistent grid supply, and coat grid supply,” Ekesiobi said.

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