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Showing posts from November, 2015

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

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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

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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…

FAO sets its eyes firmly on Zero Hunger, as it celebrates 70th anniversary,

Improving nutrition, shifting to sustainable food systems will be key to reaching new global goals – FAO DG at celebration of agency’s birth in Quebec City

Ensuring better nutrition for all and transforming the world’s food systems to ensure their future sustainability represent the two greatest challenges facing FAO as it renews its mission to free the world from hunger and malnutrition, the UN agency's Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, said today. At a ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of FAO's founding in Quebec City, organized by the Quebec government, Graziano da Silva said: “Our responsibility is growing day by day, and today our mission and mandate remain more relevant than ever,” referring to the new global goal of ending hunger by 2030 adopted by the international community in September. “And FAO has proven its ability to adapt to a changing world and respond to new challenges,” he added. The FAO Director-General began his speech by expressing sadne…

IITA wins Outstanding Research Institute Award

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture has received the Outstanding Research Institute award from the Nigeria-based Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL). IITA was honored for its sterling leadership in agricultural research in Nigeria in particular, and sub Saharan Africa in general.
In a letter to the Director General, IITA, Dr Nteranya Sanginga; the Chief Executive Officer of CVL, Prof. Pat Utomi wrote: “I write to appreciate IITA for its laudable contributions towards economic growth in Nigeria and also inform you that the CVL team has specifically selected your organization as one of the honorees at the upcoming CVL Agriculture Sector celebration. Your recognition is under the Category of Outstanding Research Institute (i.e., A prestigious recognition given to research institutes for their valuable contribution through research, publications, trainings, and advocacy).”
Receiving the award on Friday, Dr Sanginga dedicated the prize to African farmers especially women…

FAO warns that recent torrential rains, cyclones could favour locust surge

Strict vigilance required in northwest Africa, the Horn of Africa and Yemen 11 November 2015, Rome - Unusually heavy and widespread rains that fell recently in northwest Africa, the Horn of Africa and Yemen could favour Desert Locust breeding, FAO warned today, stressing that close monitoring is needed over the next six months to prevent the insects from forming destructive swarms. The locust situation in countries normally affected by Desert Locust remained mostly calm in October with only small-scale breeding activity detected, FAO experts said. They noted however, that this could change, in part due to the impact of El Nino in Africa and the tropical cyclones Chapala and Megh in the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa. "Extreme weather events, including torrential downpours, have the potential to trigger a massive surge in locust numbers. Rain provides moist soil for the insects to lay their eggs, which in turn need to absorb water, while rains also allow vegetation to grow …

Agric: Nigeria seeks closer relationship with EU

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Arc. Sonny Echono, has restated the importance of the EU-Nigeria Business Forum to the investment drive of government in the agricultural sector. Arc. Echono stated this during the week, when he received a two-man delegation of the European union (EU) led by the Ambassador and Head of Delegation, Mr. Michel Arrion in his office. He explained that the opportunity of the business forum would help in promoting the current government plan of developing the agric value chains, now that government is diversifying from oil to agriculture. Arc. Echono said the ministry’s participation would also provide a platform to discuss the EU ban on the exportation of Nigeria’s beans, which according to him was caused by excessive use of chemicals for preservation, saying other areas of collaboration and cooperation would also be explored. He said the European Union is supporting Nigeria in the area of cotton where it has…

'Women indispensable in agribusiness'

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The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)'s Representative for South Africa, Dr Tobias Takavarasha, has described the role of women in Agriculture and food security in Africa as indispensable.
Speaking at the just concluded 2nd Conference for Women in Agbribusiness, in Durban, she stated that partnerships in maximising women’s potential in agribusiness entrepreneurship remain critical, “therefore, women who excel in the agrarian sector need to be given due recognition.”
The exhibition at the conference provided female exhibitors the space to showcase their value-add agricultural products. About 200 participants at the conference had the opportunity to also dialogue and share their experiences in agribusiness. In addition, capacity building training was also provided in the area of agribusiness processes.
Dr Martha Mbatha, Chairperson of the Agribusiness Development Agency, maintained that women are still the major producers of food in Africa, producing between 60 to 80 per…