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Support farmers input system, IAR&T urges state govts

The Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan, has urged state governments in the South-West geopolitical zone to support the activities of Research-Extension-Farmers-Input Linkage System (REFILS) in their states.
The institute’s Executive Director, Prof. James Adediran, made the call at the South-West REFILS workshop in Ibadan on Tuesday.
The theme of the workshop is “Diversification and Sustainability of Agricultural Production: the Role of Mechanisation’’.
Adediran underscored the need for the state governments to make concerted efforts to boost food security and sustainable agricultural production in their states by assisting all those who were engaged in agriculture.
He appealed to stakeholders, friends of research institutes and Agricultural Development Programmes (ADPs) to fund the activities of REFILS.
“We have to forge ahead with this mission if we want to be relevant to the needs of our farmers; all hands must be on the deck to achieve success,…

Gov. Lalong launches sale of 20,000 tonnes of fertilisers to farmers in Plateau

Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau on Tuesday in Mikang launched the sale of 20,000 tonnes of fertilisers to farmers at a subsidised rate.
Speaking at the event, Lalong said that the fertilisers, which had a 50-per-cent subsidy, would be sold to farmers at N5, 500 per 50kg. bag.
The governor acknowledged the challenges which farmers encountered last year in efforts to acquire the essential input.
He stressed that government had devised better means of facilitating the access of smallholder farmers to the product. Lalong said that a special fertiliser intervention scheme, where each state of the federation was expected to blend a specified quantity of assorted fertilisers for its people, was now in place.
“Plateau has received approval to blend 20,000 tonnes for distribution this farming season, using farmers’ database generated by Bank of Agriculture and accessed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as well as using the Bank Verification Number (BVN) of each registered farmer.
“You will…

AFDB approves $280m to support Nigerian youths in agriculture —Adesina

The President of the African Development Bank (AFDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, says the $280 million approved by the bank would be used to encourage Nigerian youths to go into agro-business.
Adesina, represented by Dr Chiji Ojukwu, a Director in AFDB, stated this on Tuesday in Ibadan at the African Youth Agripreneurs (AYA) Forum organised by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that forum was convened to attract youths across Africa into agribusiness as well as mentor them to invest in agriculture.
Adesina said with IITA training initiative and the financial support from AFDB, more youths would be interested to go into agribusiness.
He said that AFDB was working with 33 countries to give assistance to youths in agriculture.
Adesina said Zambia, Sudan, GR Congo, Cameroon and Nigeria had already been given necessary assistance in 2016.
He said that the bank was targeting 37,000 youths in Nigeria who w…

Food security: LASG acquires 634.6 hectares of farmlands outside Lagos

The Lagos State Government (LASG) on Tuesday said it had acquired and started cultivation on a total of 634.6 hectares of farmland in the three states of Ogun, Osun and Abuja.
Mr Sanni Okanlawon, the Special Adviser on Food Security to Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode made the remarks at the state’s Ministerial Press Briefing in Lagos.
Okanlawon said that the lands were acquired for the major purpose of producing and bringing food to Lagos State for consumption.
“The state government is making sure that what Lagosians consume is fresh, wholesome and healthy, that is why it has taken steps to ensure that the source of meals consumed here are known.
“Currently, 500 hectares have been acquired in the Yewa Local Government of Ogun State for rice production. Already, 128 hectares have been cultivated and the rest is available for rice investors to show interest in.
“Also, 84.6 hectares in Okini Osogbo, Osun State for the production of palm oil and cassava and whatever is produced comes back to the …

Group launches solar power dryer to cut post harvest losses

A group, Developmental Association for Renewable Energy in Nigeria (DARE), has inaugurated a solar powered dryer panel to overcome post-harvest losses.
The panel was inaugurated at Sabongarin Ba’awa in Makarfi Local Government, Kaduna State.
Malam Yahaya Ahmed , the Director of the group, said the move was to support local farmers with new scientific techniques and technology to reduce farm produce losses due to lack of processing machines in rural area.
“We introduced the solar powered dryer to the rural farmers through a revolving fund.
“Our target is to reduce the quantum of food crops being damaged and the attendant financial losses incurred by farmers.
“The dryer has an efficacy period of 25 years and farmers can use it to dry all their farm produce in both rainy and dry seasons.
“Farm produce such as tomatoes, pepper, ginger, mangoes, and so can be dried within few hours using the machine.”
According to him, the dryer also helps to prevent dust and contamination, and facilita…

LASG to upscale Imota rice milling plant from 2.5to 16 metric tonnes per hour

As part of plans to ensure food self-sufficiency, especially through rice production, the Lagos State Government says it is up-scaling the Imota Rice Milling Plant from 2.5 metric tons to 16 metric tons.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Toyin Suarau, who made the disclosure on Tuesday at a Ministerial Press Briefing to mark Gov. Akinwumi Ambide’s second year in office, said the plant would be delivered within one year.
Suarau said that the plant would be the biggest in Nigeria when delivered and also drive the state’s major goal to scale up food sufficiency from 12 per cent to 25 per cent in three years.
“The ministry is mandated to facilitate sustainable food production, poverty reduction and job creation through several agriculture projects and programmes.
“The major goal of the ministry is to make the state food secured and scale up food self-sufficiency from the current 12 per cent to 25 per cent within the next three years.
“It is part of plans to ensure that the production …

INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM SET TO BRING THE WORLD’S TOP COCOA RESEARCHERS TOGETHER IN PERU

Abidjan, 24 April 2017—The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) is organizing the International Symposium on Cocoa Research (ISCR 2017) to take place in Lima, Peru, 13 – 17 November 2017, in conjunction with the Government of Peru. With the theme, Promoting Advances in Research to Enhance the Profitability of Cocoa Farming, the International Symposium aims to review recent advances in technology and innovations, share information and agree on common strategies with the goal of accelerating the development of the world cocoa sector. The Symposium is expected to attract scientists, researchers and policy makers, as well as representatives from the trade and industry, development agencies and civil society, from all over the world. Peru, with its rich heritage of growing fine and flavour cocoa, as well as having one of the world’s highest growth rates in cocoa production, is an ideal place to hold the Symposium. The Symposium aims to provide a platform for the cocoa community and sci…