Showing posts from 2015

Soils are endangered, but the degradation can be rolled back

Population growth, industrialization and climate change threaten soil health 4 December 2015, Rome - The world's soils are rapidly deteriorating due to soil erosion, nutrient depletion, loss of soil organic carbon, soil sealing and other threats, but this trend can be reversed provided countries take the lead in promoting sustainable management practices and the use of appropriate technologies, according to a new UN report released today.
The Status of the World's Soil Resources produced by FAO's Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils brings together the work of some 200 soil scientists from 60 countries. Its publication coincides with World Soil Day which is celebrated on 4 December and also the end of the UN International Year of Soils 2015 an initiative which has served to raise global awareness on what has been described as "humanity's silent ally".
"Let us promote sustainable soil management rooted in proper soil governance and sound invest…

Agric minister condemns movement of agric institutes to education

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has condemned the movement of the National Root Crops Research Institute, Umudike and two others under the ministry of Agriculture to the Education ministry without any amendment in the Act establishing them.
The Minister expressed his displeasure over the movement during an interactive session he had with members of the House Committee on Agriculture on Tuesday, 2nd December, 2015, at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja.
Chief Ogbeh said the lawmakers are major players in the agricultural sector and needed to make appropriate laws to curb all the nefarious and unwholesome practices in the agricultural sector.  He described the smuggling of 300 trailers of rice through the Seme boarder as unacceptable and called for strong measures to tackle the menace.
The Minister said, “If we carry on like this for the next five months, the economy of Nigeria would collapse”. He therefore solicited the support of the lawmakers in pr…

FG seeks legislative support for agric sector devt.

The Federal Government has called for the support of the legislative arm of government towards the sustainable growth and development of Nigeria’s Agricultural sector.
    The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, made the call during an interactive session between members of the House Committee on Agriculture and officials of the Ministry. led by the Minister.
    The Minister maintained that the legislative arm of government was a major player in the determination to move the country forward.  In the words of the Minister “You (Legislators) are the major player in every attempt to move the country forward; you are here to make necessary laws”.
    Chief Ogbeh expressed the readiness and determination of the Ministry to reposition the nation’s agricultural sector; he appealed to members of the House Committee on Agriculture to support various initiatives and reforms put in place for the sector.
    The Minister highlighted various reforms and initiatives to…


The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh has expressed the readiness of the Present Administration to collaborate with foreign investors in order to achieve agricultural development in the country.
The minister said this during his meeting with a delegation of foreign investors from the Global Good Intellectual Initiatives led by the Chief Executive Officer, NEO Resources Consulting Limited, Prince Niyi Akenzua in his office.    
Chief Ogbeh said government was willing to collaborate with foreign investors in areas of seed improvement, technical technology, and research among others. He added that rural development was another priority of the present administration whereby farming machineries and infrastructure are put in place to make farming operations easier for the rural farmers. 
He directed that a technical forum between official of the ministry and the delegation be arranged for cross fertilization of ideas and knowledge on how to grow and develop the ag…

Food prices fall in November amid robust global inventories

Food prices fall in November amid robust global inventories
Food security worsening in areas suffering from civil conflict and adverse weather conditions

Major food commodity prices fell in November, reversing about half their rise in the previous month, as the cost of internationally-traded staples, except for sugar, fell across the board. The FAO Food Price Index averaged 156.7 points in November, down 1.6 percent from its revised October average, and 18 percent below its value a year earlier. The FAO Cereal Price Index fell 2.3 percent, with coarse grain prices falling even more due to favourable harvests in the United States, the world's largest maize producer and exporter. Vegetable oil prices fell 3.1 percent from October, aided by lower energy prices, and encouraging planting and production prospects for soy crops in South and North America. FAO's Dairy Price Index also fell 2.9 percent amid thin volumes, suggesting that major importers have adequate stocks. Meat pri…

CONTEC Agro Launches Ambitious N20bn Agric Project in Nigeria

CONTEC Agro Launches Ambitious N20bn Agric Project in Nigeria Unveils inputs that revives dead soil, shorten harvest time
Nigeria’s agricultural rebirth has received a major boost with the successful trial of inputs that breathe life into depleted soils, shorten the period between breeding and harvest of crops and livestock, as well as resist the incursion of pests. This is part of an ambitious N20 billion worth project launched by by CONTEC Global Agro Limited to develop and deploy bio-fertilizers, bio-stimulants, soil biological conditioners and similar innovations intended to reinvent farming cultures through improved soil fertility and improved production of crops and livestock. The products developed by globally spread experts in agricultural innovations are currently being used at pilots farms across the country. Chairman/President, CONTEC Global, the parent body of CONTEC Global Agro Limited, Dr. Benoy Berry, who disclosed this in an interview in Lagos, said the project has reached …

Google, FAO partner to make remote sensing data more efficient and accessible

Partnership enhances ability to assess changing forest and to estimate greenhouse gas emissions 1 December, Paris - Google Maps and FAO have agreed to work closely together to make geospatial tracking and mapping products more accessible, providing a high-technology assist to countries tackling climate change and much greater capacity to experts developing forest and land-use policies. Digital technology tapping into satellite imagery is revolutionizing the way countries can assess, monitor and plan the use of their natural resources, including monitoring deforestation and desertification. "For FAO, this is not just a partnership. This is a strategic alliance," said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, noting it combines FAO's global effort to combat climate change with Google's commitment to help on the climate data science and awareness fronts. The three-year partnership between Google Maps and FAO is designed to foster innovation and expertise and sharply broa…

FAO urges "hand-in-hand" approach to hunger and climate change

Focus on agriculture, forestry and healthy soils can help push back "tipping point" for many poor people 1 December 2015, Paris - Providing support to developing countries and their agricultural sectors is essential for the global goals of eradicating hunger and tackling the challenges of climate change, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said in Paris today.
As world leaders gather to discuss commitments necessary to prevent average temperatures from rising by more than two degrees, "we are already crossing tipping points for families and communities," he said at the UN Climate Summit COP21.

Poor family farmers are being driven off their land by prolonged drought, coastal fishing communities are losing their homes due to rising sea levels, and pastoralists are being forced to migrate in search of grazing lands, Graziano da Silva said. "These are not distant scenarios. All this is happening now," he added.

That the poor and most vulnerable peoples ar…

Netherlands donates $7 million to improve water management in Near East and Africa

Remote sensing satellite imagery will help to identify areas where water use produces poor crops 27 November 2015, Rome -- The Netherlands and FAO are expanding their collaboration in the area of water management with a $7 million donation by the Dutch government to support the use of remote sensing technology in helping water-scarce countries in the Near East and Africa monitor and improve the way they use water for crop production. The additional donation brings the total budget up to $10 million for the Dutch-funded project that uses satellite data to find land areas where water use is not translating into optimal agricultural production, identify the source of the problem and recommend different planting and irrigation techniques. "The project uses some of the most advanced technologies and takes into account the ecosystems and the equitable use of water resources," FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said at an event marking the extended agreement at FAO headqu…

Nigerian public extension agencies sign MoU with IITA Cassava Weed Management Project

Four state-based public extension agencies in Nigeria have signed separate memorandum of understandings with the Cassava Weed Management Project—a project that is being managed by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA-CWMP). The MoUs unite all the key partners in the battle against weeds in cassava farming systems. A similar MoU had been signed with the Standards Organization of Nigeria. The public extension agencies involved in the signing of the MoU are: Abia State Agricultural Development Program (Abia ADP), Benue Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (BNARDA), Ogun State Agricultural Development Program (OGADEP), and Oyo State Agricultural Development Program (OYSADEP). The signing of the MoUs is part of preliminary extension activities aimed at effective and efficient technology and knowledge transfer. “The MoUs formally bring on board the extension agencies that are critical stakeholders to the project,” says Dr Alfred Dixon, Project Leader for the …

Surge in climate change-related disasters poses growing threat to food security

Surge in climate change-related disasters poses growing threat to food security In developing countries the agriculture sector bears much of the economic impact
Droughts, floods, storms and other disasters triggered by climate change have risen in frequency and severity over the last three decades, increasing the damage caused to the agricultural sectors of many developing countries and putting them at risk of growing food insecurity, FAO warned in a new report released today ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in Paris. Worldwide, between 2003 and 2013 - the period analyzed in the study - the average annual number of disasters caused by all types of natural hazards, including climate-related events, almost doubled since the 1980s. The total economic damage caused is estimated at $1.5 trillion. Focusing specifically on the impact of climate-related disasters in developing countries, some 25 percent of the negative economic impacts were borne by the crop, liv…

IITA Cassava Weed Management Project signs MoU with SON

IITA Cassava Weed Management Project signs MoU with SON The Cassava Weed Management Project, which is being managed by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), an agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria that ensures manufactured products entering Nigerian market give the required degree of satisfaction to consumers through compliance with government policies on standardization and conformity assessment. The SON also ensures that goods imported into the country meet the minimum requirements of industrial standards or any other approved international standards. The MoU seeks to establish a link to foster cooperation for the development and implementation of collaborative programs while highlighting the framework for the partnership between both organizations. Areas covered in the MoU include exchange of scientific information and developing specific cooperative programs and proj…

Promoting regional agricultural trade and value chains

In Central Africa, agriculture is key to economic development. In some countries of the sub-region, more than 60 per cent of the population live in a rural environment, while 50 per cent of the working population are involved in the agricultural sector. The agricultural policies of the Central African countries follow a number of different approaches, depending on their urbanisation levels and their strategies with regard to the exploitation of natural resources. One common characteristic to all of these countries is that the level of local production and processing of food products is insufficient to meet consumer demand. A substantial majority of the countries in the sub-region are largely dependent on imported food products, which impact enormously on the region's balance of payments. Despite its geographical situation and the potential complementarity in the trading of food and agricultural products, Central Africa remains one of the least integrated regions of the continent …

Stakeholders task agriculture minister on way forward

Stakeholders task agriculture minister on way forward
as Ogbeh, Lokpobiri resume duty
By Jimoh Babatunde & Gabriel Ewepu The new Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, says the ministry is going to carry a new burden as stakeholders in the sector have urged him to turn around the ministry with his wealth of experience as an administrator and farmer. Audu Ogbeh, who comes into the ministry with huge experience in agriculture, runs Efugo Farms that is into Castor Oil, Groundnut Oil, Hatching of Fishes and Chicken and Broiler Production. Audu Ogbeh who resumed office on Wednesday with his minister of state, Heineken Lokpobiri, said there are high expectations from the agricultural sector based on the drive on diversifying the economy from the oil and gas sector. He said: “This ministry is going to carry a new burden now, oil and gas has served Nigeria well but we didn’t manage the resource well. “Now the attention is turning to agriculture and how we are…