THE ALLUVIAL TRADE RICE FARMING PROJECT – OVERCOMING THE RISKS IN THE NIGER DELTA REGION
Alluvial trade is an integrated farm business based in Nigeria that uses the best of modern technology, and traditional methods, to deliver environmentally and socially sustainable farming that enriches the environment and uplifts communities in the Niger-Delta region. The Niger-Delta region is located in the southern part of Nigeria. The region spans over 20,000 square kilometers and it has been described as the largest wetland in Africa and among the three largest in the world. About 2,370 square kilometers of the Niger Delta area consist of rivers, creeks and estuaries and while a stagnant swamp covers about 8600 square kilometers.
Alluvial has historically focused on rice production, but with growing
domestic demand they have over the years expanded to include an
active horticulture and cassava farming. Committed to enhancing the
lives of individuals in the Niger-Delta communities in which it operates.
Alluvial is working with both the youths and women to achieve their
potential by providing opportunities and skills for personal and
This is done through its focus on offering adequate extension services
through which they share knowledge and expertise leading to improved farm yields and better business practices amongst farmers in the communities.
Farming in the region over the years have come with various risks and hindrances which have all been overcome by Alluvial trade.
Various key activities carried out by Alluvial trade:
1. Irrigation: Flooding is one of the major environmental crises contend with globally. This is especially the case in most wetlands of the world. The reason for this is the general rise in sea level globally, due to global warming as well as the saturated nature of the wetlands in the Niger Delta. Periodic floods occur on many rivers, forming a surrounding region known as flood plain. Rivers overflow for reasons like excess rainfall. In the Niger Delta region flooding is no news at all as it occurs yearly due to proximity to the ocean. Alluvial trade has been able to resolve the issue of flood by planting on highlands and properly irrigating its farms within the region. Planting on highlands reduces the risk of losing crops to flood as the planting area is well above sea level. Prior to the involvement of Alluvial trade in the region, flooding was one of the major disasters faced by farmers as they regularly count losses when their crops have been washed away by flash floods and heavy rains.
2. Access to efficient labor: Alluvial trade has set a standard for community development within the Niger Delta region, they keep to this standard by employing the labors of individuals indigenous to the environment they are situated in. They do this by liaising with the local chiefs within these communities who in turn pass information to individuals who are interested to work within the communities. The primary target for Alluvial trade is to engage the youths and women within the area. This has helped alleviate poverty among the youths, which has in turn caused a ripple effect which has led to the reduction in crime rates within the region.
3. Access to Farm Lands: Because of the land use policies in the region, access to lands in the Niger-Delta area is hard to process. On arrival to the region a few years back, Alluvial trade successfully made agreements with local chiefs who in turn gave them access to hectares of land for farming practices. Alluvial trade in turn creates employment for indigenes and generates income for communities. To make the Niger Delta more secure and prosperous Alluvial trade have trained ex-militants in agriculture production to give them the opportunity to return to their communities as agricultural leaders and mentors. They are working on replicating this program across areas of operations.
4. Maximizing output: The goal of any organization is to serve as many clients as possible without running a deficit. Alluvial trade practices this by mixed cropping on farm lands. Apart from rice, other crops that are on high demand within the region are cassava, oil palm and yam. Alluvial trade has been able to integrate these crops into its farming processes. This has in turn led to profit maximization and increase in revenue over the years.
5. Rice transplant: Transplanting is the most common and elaborative method of crop establishment for rice. Rice seedlings grown in a nursery are pulled and transplanted into puddled and leveled fields 15 to 40 days after seeding (DAS). Rice seedlings can either be transplanted manually or by machine. This is done in order to get higher yields and less weeding. Broadcasting of seedlings is also practiced in some parts of Nigeria.