Showing posts from 2016

No plastic, only contaminated rice in Nigeria – NAFDAC

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on Thursday said laboratory result of the suspected fake rice showed that the product was not plastic but rice contaminated with micro organisms.
The Acting Director General, NAFDAC, Yetunde Oni, said this at a news conference in conjuction with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in Abuja.
Oni said the seized rice was unsatisfactory and therefore unwholesome for human consumption, stressing that the consignment would be destroyed upon handover by the NCS.
She explained that the product branded ”Best Tomato”, was in 25kg bag, without NAFDAC number, batch number, date markings and details of the manufacturer.
She said that `floating’ was negative, sedimentation was positive, cooking was normal, odour was normal, colour was off-white and E-coli was within specification.
She said lead and cadmium were not detected, pre-ashing was normal, ash, moisture and mould were within specification but coli form was above maxi…

Zambia president orders air force to help fight maize pest

Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu ordered the air force on Thursday to join other government agencies in an emergency operation to contain the spread of pests that have invaded maize fields in many parts of the country. The armyworms, which feast on young maize plants and are capable of wiping out entire fields, have been spotted in about six of Zambia’s 10 provinces, Agriculture Permanent Secretary, Julius Shawa said. The Zambia Air Force began airlifting pesticides to the four worst affected provinces and will team up with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) in responding to the crisis, presidential spokesman Amos Chanda said in a statement. The air force will not carry out aerial spraying of the insecticide, however. Zambia’s maize production rose to 2.87 million tonnes in the 2015/2016 crop season from 2.60 million tonnes the previous season due to better than anticipated rainfall and early delivery of fertiliser and seed to farmers. “T…

Edo ADP to begin inspection of farms in January

The National Secretary of the Federated Fadama body, Mr Henry Ebole, said on Thursday that the Edo Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) would commence the authentification of farms by January 2017. Ebole told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview in Benin that extension workers from the Edo ADP have been constituted into committees to verify the farms. He said that the aim of the inspection was to verify the authenticity of the ownership of the farms. “The exercise is to really know those that have farms in the state. “It is to ensure that the ANCHOR Borrowers Scheme gets to the real farmers in the various local government areas across the state. “We are also going to sign an MOU with the scheme in January, to facilitate the sales of our farm produce,” he said.
Ebole added that the disbursement of ANCHOR borrower loans and inputs would begin by the end of January 2017.

KTSG earmarks N8bn to boost agricultural sector in 2017—-Masari

Katsina Government has set aside eight billion naira to boost the agricultural sector in the 2017 budget. Gov. Aminu Masari of Katsina State stated this during the launching of the state/CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme on rice for 2016/2017 Dry Season Farming on Thursday in Jibia, Katsina State. ‘’The Katsina State Government has given top priority to the agricultural sector which is the mainstay of people of the state. ‘’We have set aside billions of naira for the agricultural sector because 90 per cent of Katsina citizens are farmers. ‘’We are targeting 20,000 farmers that will actively participate in the Anchor Rice Programme in the state,’’ he said.
The governor disclosed that the state government had expended more than N300 million for the rehabilitation and expansion of 10 dams that were being used for irrigation. Masari called on the farmers to make maximum use of the rice farming so as to become self-reliant. In his remarks, the state’s Deputy Governor, who also serves as Comm…

Ban on rice importation hasty – rice farmer

Mr Raymos Guana,  the Chief Executive Officer of Raymos Guana Farms,  says the decision of the Federal Government to ban rice importation is too hasty. Guana, a former Commissioner for Lands in Delta, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Asaba on Thursday. According to him, the quantity of rice being produced in the country today will not be able to meet the demands of Nigerians.
He said that government should have given farmers at least three to five years notice to work toward boosting rice production that could adequately feed the nation. “With such target, each state of the federation would be given specified quantity of rice to be produced within the stipulated time. “For example, Delta will produce one million tonnes of rice, Anambra two million, while Ebonyi will produce five million tonnes of rice. “With this target, I am very sure that each state would work toward achieving its goals and expectation,’’ he said. Guana also called on gov…

Farmers commend Jigawa Govt. over farm cluster scheme

Some farmers in Hadejia, Jigawa, have commended the State Government over the introduction of Farm Cluster Scheme to enhance farmer-support services. A cross section of the farmers interviewed on  Thursday in Hadejia that the gesture had motivated them and encouraged agricultural activities. Malam Abdullahi Gabi, a rice grower, said that the programme had assisted and encouraged farmers to produce more due to the availability of farm inputs. Gabi noted that the government had distributed fertilisers, seeds and chemicals to the registered farmers for the rain-fed and irrigation activities. “Fertilisers, seeds and chemicals are distributed through the farmer clusters in major rice and wheat producing areas. “Farmers are accessing fertilisers and other inputs at ease. It also dealt with scarcity and protect farmers from exorbitant prices at markets,” he said. Another farmer, Gambo Ali, also commended the government over the training of farmers on modern farming techniques, chemical spra…

Committee impounds 7 sacks of adulterated Sesame seeds in Jigawa

The Jigawa State Consumer Protection Committee (CPC), has seized seven sacks of adulterated sesame seeds worth N175,000 from a trader in Suletankarkar market.    The CPC Chairman, Alhaji Farouk Abdallah, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) via telephone on Thursday in Dutse, that the trader was also arrested and prosecuted. Abdallah said the suspect, who was arrested when the committee paid unscheduled visit to the market, was later taken to court. He explained that the trader, one Murtala Jikai, was sentenced to eight months imprisonment with an option of N20,000 fine by a Sharia Court in Suletankarkar . Abdullahi warned traders in the state against engaging in unwholesome practice to defraud consumers, adding that anyone found would be prosecuted.
According to him, the committee would continue to monitor markets to protect consumers from adulterated foods, drugs and medication, as well as shield them from shylock traders.

Entrepreneur advises graduates to embrace agriculture

An entrepreneur, Malam Bashar Garba, has advised graduates to embrace agriculture rather than wait for non existing government jobs.
“I appeal to graduates to become entrepreneurs, set up businesses in agriculture so that they can be employers of labour and self reliant,” Garba, a Fisheries graduate of Kebbi State University of Science and Technology, Aliero, said.
Garba in an interview  in Aliero said  that “the government does not have the resources to offer employment to every graduate in the country.”
According to him, after he graduated in 2012, he established a small farm which now engages in the sale of animal feeds, fingerlings and chicks to customers from across the country.
He urged government at all levels to offer training and financial support to the youths, to enable them go into agricultute and set up businesses in the agric value chain.

Garba said that the intervention would greatly reduce the level of unemployment in the country.

Provost optimistic of surplus food in Nigeria in 2017

The Provost, Federal College of Agriculture, Akure, Dr Samson Odedina, has predicted surplus of foodstuff in 2017.
Odedina told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Akure that major stakeholders, including governments, farmers and technical providers, were investing massively to develop the agricultural sector.
“Nigerians are problem-solvers and I don’t think any problem can overwhelm us.
“I want to allay fears of those saying that there will be famine in 2017 because a lot of people have responded to embrace agriculture in recent times.
“We will soon see the results in a short while because there has been tremendous increase in response to agriculture by Nigerians of all strata.
“All this will yield good results and there is no way that this response will go down the drain,’’ he said.
The provost added that 500 people were currently being trained on agriculture, adding that people came from far north to undergo the training without being paid.
“We just advertised on page…

A/Ibom’s proposed rice plantation to employ 2,000 youths and women, says Gov. Emmanuel

Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom said on Wednesday that the state’s proposed 10,000 hectares of rice plantation to be inaugurated by the second quarter of 2017 would employ 2,000 youths.
Emmanuel, while addressing youths in Nsit Ubium, said that both the plantation and a processing mill would be located in Ini Local Government Area.
According to the governor, a 7.5-kilometre of road is being constructed to the plantation ahead of the inauguration.
“We are set to inaugurate 10,000 hectares of rice plantation with the entire value chain going to be in Ini Local Government Area of the state.
“We need to construct a road to the rice plantation.
“If you go there, the 7.5 km of road we are constructing will be commissioned by the second quarter of next year so that we can go ahead with the inauguration.
“The rice plantation, when inaugurated, will employ 2,000 youths and women in the state,’’ he said.
Besides, he said the coconut plantation established by the state had employed 300 youths, …

Bauchi govt flag-off Anchor Borrower's scheme, 20,000 farmers registered

Bauchi-The Bauchi State Government has officially launched the Anchor Borrower's Scheme initiated by the Central Bank of Nigeria with 20,000 farmers successfully registered under the scheme. The State Governor, Mohammed Abubakar who officially launched the scheme in Gadan-Maiwa town of Bauchi state at the flag-off of Land Preparation for the programme,  said that his administration will accord priority to Agriculture, especially laudable programmes like the Anchor Borrowers Scheme, as part of efforts to empower the people, create job opportunities and tackle the challenges of food security. He said that the state government undertook to pay off the 9 per cent interest on the loan to be granted farmers in the programme, to encourage participation and showing commitment towards the success of the programme in the state as an Anchor, in addition to other contributions. " The government has placed a high priority to Agriculture, especially laudable programmes like the Anchor Bor…

GMO: We can’t be deceived again

By Alex Abutu
In the last ten years or there about, a group of activists have held the country to ransom instilling unnecessary fears in the minds of people as well as spreading unscientific facts about genetically modified organisms. This group have been singing the same song of fear, not safe, dangerous, negative impact on environment, development of super weed, super insect, monopoly of Monsanto, farmers will become dependent on seed companies among others that have made it difficult for Nigerians to make up their minds on the technology. These groups which now write letters and petitions to Mr President and who-so-ever they think is important hinged their campaigns on the fact the Europe detest genetically modification so why should Nigeria accept such alien invasion of our natural habitat that will contaminate the environment and endanger our lives. Globally, anti GM groups have stalled the commercialization of GM crops based on misconceptions, ignorance and fear of the unknown.…

Bird Flu: Germany culling some 55,000 poultry

(Reuters/NAN) The culling of about 55,000 turkeys, chickens and ducks is underway after bird-flu of the highly-contagious-H5N8-strain was found on farms in a major poultry-production region in the north-German-state of Lower-Saxony, authorities said on Tuesday.
Poultry culling on the three farms where H5N8 was found and three others which had contact with them was started over the Christmas weekend and should be completed on Tuesday, the Lower-Saxony-agriculture-ministry said in a statement.
A 72 hour standstill order has been issued banning the sale and transport of poultry from the latest area involved, the ministry said.
The contagious H5N8 strain has been found in more than 500 wild birds in Germany in recent weeks.
Outbreaks on farms have been rare after the government introduced tough sanitary rules to prevent infection by wild birds, including orders to keep poultry indoors in high-risk regions.
Several European countries and Israel have found cases of H5N8 bird flu in the pa…

GMO will not wipe out traditional crops– Expert

An Agriculture and Biotechnology expert has described as false the claim that the proliferation of genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) will wipe out natural crops. Mr Yarama Ndirpaya, acting Director, Partnership and Linkages, Agricultural Research Institute of Nigeria, stated this an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja. “The issue of GMO wiping out natural seeds is not correct, Genetically Modified seeds are supposed to exist side by side with the traditional seeds. “We don’t even necessarily go for genetically modified crops except for some scientific reasons.
“And most of the reasons why we use genetically modified seeds in agriculture are either to combat one terrible disease or to combat one terrible insect resistance, weed resistance or herbicide resistance.
“What do we do in genetic modification is not necessarily to create a crop that will kind of compete with our natural crops.
“But to create crops based on advantage where we know that there is need an…

Cassava growers want flexible agricultural policies to increase production in 2017

The Nigeria Cassava Growers Association (NCGA) has appealed to the Federal Government to encourage flexible agricultural policies to boost cassava production in the country by 2017.
Mr Segun Adewumi, the National President of the association, made the appeal while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday.
Adewumi said that such flexible policies should eradicate the non-acceptance of agricultural lands as collateral security for loans by Nigerian banks to encourage more farmers in the business.
According to him, the refusal has denied both foreign and local investments in the cassava value chain.
The national president emphasised that agricultural commodities, which required industrial use, needed to cost less for its products to be accepted at the international market, hence the need for the policies.
“We need to devote five million of the 84 million hectares of the arable land in Nigeria to cassava development and that will yield 200 million tonnes of cassa…

Anchor Borrowers Programme : Bauchi Farmers decry slow pace of accounts opening process in Banks

Potential beneficiaries of Federal Government’s Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) in Bauchi State have decried the slow pace of processing of their accounts by some banks involved in the programme.
They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Bauchi on Monday that unnecessary delay by some of the banks in opening accounts for them, which is a pre-condition for participation in the programme, was frustrating and diminishing their enthusiasm to participate in the ABP.
The interested participants, mostly farmers and civil servants, noted that the Project Management Team (PMT) set up by the state government, had done a lot to generate interest in the programme but the hiccup being experienced in some of the participating banks, was discouraging.
According to them, the inbuilt incentives in the programme are so tempting that they initially doubted the possibility of actual implementation.
“Apart from providing the capital for farming, all the inputs needed such as fertilizer, seeds, pest…

From surviving to thriving: How AfDB is helping transform agriculture in Africa - new report

*97 percent of the Bank’s agriculture projects rated satisfactory. **4000 kilometers of feeder roads built; three million people trained on farming practices ***150,000 microcredit loans, water systems on 181,000 hectares of farmland
By 2025, Africa aims to feed its fast growing population with its own production. What is more, the world will need Africa’s help to feed an extra two billion people in the coming generation. So making the right investments right now is crucial to unleash the huge potential of Africa’s farms and agribusinesses.
The African Development Bank (AfDB), as one of the leading investors in agriculture in the continent, has been firmly on track on how it has deployed US$5.5 billion in investments in the agriculture sector over five years to 2015, the new Development Effectiveness Review on Agriculture released today shows.
Here is a brief report card of the AfDB’s topline results: the Bank trained three million people on better farming practices, put 20,000 food …


By Jimoh Babatunde 
The Federal Government has launched N10 BillionWomen in Agriculture Environment Impact Fund (WAEIF) in Abuja as a means of using women to unlock the country’s food potentials. Speaking at the launch, the Minister of State, Agriculture and Rural Development Senator, Heineken Lokpobiri, said that the challenges of environmental impact have contributed largely to food scarcity in Nigeria. He noted that insurgency, gas flaring, oil spillage, desert encroachment, flood and other environmental hazards have prevented effective participation of women in Agriculture. Lokpobiri said that the fund will boost sustainable funding mechanism for women in Agriculture which will in turn generate employment and exchange of ideas in environmental agriculture. Lokpobiri commended the Women Association for National Agriculture andEnvironment Protection (WANAEP) for the effort of fund raising which will positively impact on the on-going process of economic diversification with agriculture a…

Jigawa poised to boost IGR through agriculture, says Gov. Badaru

Gov. Muhammad Badaru of Jigawa said the state government had developed strategies to boost its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) through its agricultural programmes. Badaru told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Dutse on Thursday that his administration was determined to utilize the abundant agricultural resources in the state to create wealth for the people. He noted that agriculture had been neglected, hence his decision to boost the sector to lift farming activities from subsistence to commercial level. Badaru said that he had concluded arrangements with Dangote Group of Company to cultivate 300 hectares of land to produce rice with a view to increasing IGR and also providing employment for the people. The Governor also disclosed that a Chinese firm had shown interest to invest in the state by establishing a sugar manufacturing company.
He said that when fully operational, the company would provide market for sugarcane farmers in the state, as well as provide employment opportu…

Kebbi Govt vaccinates 871,347 livestock against suspected anthrax from Benin Republic

The Kebbi State Government said on Thursday that it had vaccinated over 871,347 livestock in the state against suspected anthrax from the neighbouring Benin Republic.
This is contained in a statement signed by Alhaji Umar Gulma, a Deputy Director in the state Ministry of Information, which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Birnin Kebbi.
It said the state Ministry of Animal Health had embarked on the livestock vaccination in three local government areas bordering the Republic of Benin.
“We have embarked on the livestock vaccination campaign as a measure to ward off the suspected anthrax in Benin Republic.
“We considered the fact that we have Arewa, Bagudo and Dandi Local Government Areas that border Benin Republic,” it said.
The statement said that so far, about 449,573 cattle and 421,774 sheep had been vaccinated in the exercise.
It said over N11million was spent on the procurement of the vaccines, adding that an additional N10 million had been approved for th…

350,000 families benefit from Anchor Borrower Programme in Kebbi – BOA

The Bank of Agriculture (BOA) says 350,000 families in Kebbi State have benefitted from Anchor Borrower Agricultural Loan disbursed to farmers in the last one year.
Alhaji Muhammad Adamu, the Executive Director of the bank`s Corporate Services made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Birnin Kebbi on Thursday.
He said that 78,000 farmers directly benefitted from the loan, while 350,000 families were affected through job creation and income generation.
He said that under the programme, the state had produced 700, 000 tonnes of rice, adding that the initial production target was one million tonnes.
Adamu said that the loan was meant for every eligible farmer without special consideration such as religion, tribe or creed.
He said that the Anchor Borrower Programme was aimed at promoting food security, economic sustainability and self reliance for the populace.
He said that the bank would soon sign a memorandum of understanding with the Kebbi Governmen…


The newly elected President of the Nigeria Agribusiness Group (NABG), Sani Dangote, said they are working on innovative financing and market price stabilization mechanisms to resolve the issues of supply security in the tomatoes sector. Speaking at the just concluded AGM of the body in Abuja recently, he said they are doing that to meet the market demands of food and beverage processors in Nigeria. Dangote  said that was the reason the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the Executive Governor of Kano State and the Minister of Industries, Trade and Investments visited their out-grower farmers in Kano recently. Dangote , who is the Chairman of the NABG Executive Leadership Group (ELG) of the group was elected President , with  Chief Emmanuel Ijewere, the CEO of Best Foods elected as Vice President. Others elected include  AnttiRitvonen, the Managing Director of Dizengoff W A (NIG) Ltd) as Secretary, and Akin Sawyerr, Secretary of AFGEAN as Treasurer. Individual members representing associ…

ACAI to address yield gap in cassava production ----- Jalloh

Stakeholders in the Cassava value chain gathered recently at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, for the first annual review and planning workshop of the African Cassava Agronomy Initiative [ACAI]. The project, which is led by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) with funding support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will  improve cassava yields, cassava root quality, cassava supply to the processing sector, and fertilizer sales, thereby engaging over 100,000 households in Nigeria and Tanzania, and facilitating the engagement of at least 30% women farmers. During the meeting,  JIMOH BABATUNDE engaged  the coordinator of the initiative, Dr Abdulai Jalloh, on  how the initiative will be used to  unlock the potential of cassava in Africa. Here is an excerpt. On what the initiative is out to achieve The initiative is mainly aimed at reducing the cassava yield gap. It has been realized that there are many varieties of cassava t…

Food Security: Zamfara Govt. sets aside N1bn to buy grains-Commissioner

The Zamfara Government says it has set aside N1billion for the procurement of grains to ensure availability of foodstuff for the people in the state. The state’s Commissioner of Agriculture, Alhaji Lawal Jangebe, disclosed this on Wednesday while speaking with newsmen in Dutse, after he defended the 2017 budget of the ministry at the state House of Assembly. He noted that the plan was to complement the Federal Government`s policy of ensuring food supply and food preservation for citizens. The commissioner said that the state government would soon reintroduce the state`s Comprehensive Agricultural Revolution Programme (ZACAREP). He stated that the state government would also buy thousands of tonnes of fertiliser to for sale to farmers at subsidised rates. “We are also making arrangements to procure tractors, machines and other agricultural inputs for the programme, “ he said.

Agric institute trains 500 graduates as next agro-millionaires – official

The Federal College of Agriculture in Akure (FECA) in partnership with Federal Government is training over 500 unemployed graduates across 16 states to serve as mentors  to future generation of farmers. The Provost of the college, Dr Samson Odedina, disclosed this at the opening ceremony of the five-day vocational training in modern agriculture at the college premises in Akure. He said those being trained  would define  the future of agriculture in the country. Odedina  said that the college would subsequently provide post training linkages to ensure that the  trainees remained in profitable agribusinesses. “This present training is being held in tandem with our mandate to support government’s interest and investment in agriculture which centre on job creation and employment for young people. “The Federal Government of Nigeria is the sponsor of this training, as approved in our 2016 capital project, with the aim of training of unemployed graduates on profitable agricultural value cha…