South-West Tomato Farmers Call for Revamp of Oyo Dam

Tomato farmers under the South-West Tomato Growers Association of Nigeria have called on the government to resuscitate the Ikere Dam in Oyo state.

President of the association Mr. Bamidele Ajani, who made this call during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said that the dam would help boost agricultural productivity.

The Ikere Gorge Dam is a major earth-fill dam in Iseyin local government area of Oyo State.

Its reservoir capacity is 690 million m3 and was initiated by the military regime of General Olusegun Obasanjo and started in 1983 by the administration of Shehu Shagari.

The dam was planned to generate 37.5 MW of electricity, to supply water to local communities and to Lagos and to irrigate 12,000 hectares of land.

According to Ajani, the dam can produce one million tons of fish, if utilised for aquaculture. This, he noted, would reduce fish importation.

“It has the capacity to supply 82 million cubic meters of water to adjoining towns, also 12,000 hectares of farm can get irrigated from this same dam.

“If the dam is adequately revamped, it will assist us to meet the target of producing 1,200 metric tons of tomato monthly.

“There is also the tourism aspect as well that could spin additional income for the community, state and the nation at large.

“There was a reason this project was conceived by the General Obasanjo regime in 1979 and started by the Shehu Shagari administration, it remains an important asset that should never be allowed to lie fallow,” he asserted.

The president also said that the dam has the potential to create employment opportunities for the populace.

It would advance the Federal Government’s agenda to lift 10 million Nigerians out of poverty, he added.


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