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Showing posts from July, 2015

Govt lauds OPS agriculture inputs

By Jimoh Babatunde
The Federal Government has expressed satisfaction with the boost that agriculture is getting from the organised private sector in the country.  The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) ,Arc. Sonny Echono, disclosed that Nigeria’s agriculture has been receiving major boost since the private sector took the centre stage of activities in the sector. Speaking at the launch of Micro reforms for African Agribusiness in Nigeria in Abuja during the week, the Permanent Secretary  explained that the goal of government is to attract private sector agribusinesses through investment facilitation from early stage through the investment lifecycle. He said this will be done using reforms, regulations, laws and administrative practices adding that, “The private sector has become the engine of Nigeria’s economic growth”. The Permanent Secretary, represented by the Director, Agribusiness and Marketing, FMARD, Engr. Ohiare Jatto commended …

New initiative brings soils into classrooms around the globe

By JIMOH BABATUNDE
A new initiative recently launched by the Food And Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in partnership with the Washington D.C.-based National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) looks to bring soils into classrooms around the globe.
The series of educational materials on the critical role of healthy soils is teaching children the importance of healthy soils for our food, environment, livelihoods and well-being.
The partnership developed as part of the 2015 International Year of Soils (IYS2015) targets children aged 5 to 14, using word games, puzzles, drawing activities and other interactive elements.
The four educational booklets are separately designed for beginner, intermediate, advanced and young adult students, with an accompanying educator's guide for teachers.
Originally produced in English to complement the exhibit on soils at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the materials have been translated into French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese…

FAO seeks $20m to contain fresh bird flu outbreak in W-Africa

By Jimoh Babatunde The Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO is calling for a $20 million intervention fund for prevention and response activities as it fears the highly virulent avian flu virus H5N1 could spread across West Africa and beyond. In a release yesterday, FAO said the call follows outbreaks of the virus in poultry farms, markets and family holdings in Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Niger, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana. The outbreak comes as countries across West Africa are still recovering from, and in some cases still battling, Ebola. Avian flu could trigger a mass die-off of chicken – a nutritious and inexpensive source of food for many people– with detrimental impacts on diets and on the economy of the region, exacerbating an already difficult situation. Previous strains of the virus – known to be highly virulent to poultry and capable of causing illness and fatalities in humans – have been circulating in Asia since the early 2000s and in Egypt for almost 10 years. The H5N1 strai…

AfDB plans women empowerment in agriculture through technology

By Jimoh Babatunde The African Development Bank has held a high-level consultation with the Dutch government about developing a platform for providing women with market information to enhance their participation in agricultural trade. The discussions held at the Bank’s headquarters in Abidjan recently focused on designing, developing and implementing an Agricultural Trade and Investment Market Intelligence Platform. The Bank’s Special Envoy on Gender, Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi and experts from the Centre for the Promotion of Imports (CBI) from developing countries, a unit under the Dutch’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, explored options of designing a user friendly platform to ensure needs of women were met. Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi disclosed that of importance to the AfDB was how to address gaps prohibiting women from accessing relevant information that can help them reap maximum profits from agriculture, emphasising the need for timely, accurate and transpa…

3AGT: AUC, NEPAD charged on alternative sources of funding

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By Jimoh Babatunde THE African Union Commission (AUC) and the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA) have been urged to facilitate the mobilisation of investment finances required for the operationalization of the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated African Agriculture Growth and Transformation (3AGT). The call was made by participants at the just concluded two-day Leadership Retreat for engagement with Permanent Secretaries (PS) /Heads of Ministries of Agriculture in AU Member States held in Nairobi, Kenya. The over 90 participants , comprising Permanent Secretaries, Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Focal Persons and representatives of Regional Economic Communities (RECs) among others, said the investment finances needed should include identification of alternative sources of funding and other innovative resource mobilization strategies. In a communiqué issued at the end of the retreat, the participants underscored the urgency of reviewing National…