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Showing posts from March, 2016

Borno invests N30b in agriculture -- Gov. Shettima

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Gov. Kashim Shettima of Borno on Thursday said the state government had invested about N30 billion to promote
agricultural production in the state. Shettima, who disclosed this while conducting the UN Resident Coordinator, Ms Fatma Samoura, round some of the ranches at the Government House in Maiduguri, decried Nigeria’s continued dependence on importation. The governor explained that agriculture held the key to job creation, and it was the solution to the Boko Haram insurgency in the area. According to him, it is unjustifiable that Nigeria has continued to import products like tomato, wheat and palm oil, which the country can produce. ``Agriculture offers opportunity to our people in productive venture and it has to be in the whole value chain of agricultural production process. ``We have investment worth over N30 billion in agricultural machinery and the whole mantra is for an increase in yield. ``In Nigeria, we produce five tonnes of tomato per hectare. In England, they produce 50…

AfDB hosts workshop on the role of agropoles, agro-processing zones in Africa’s agricultural transformation

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The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) Departments of Agriculture and Agro-industry (OSAN) and Transition Support (ORTS) organized a workshop on “The Role of Agropoles and Agro-Processing Zones (APZ) in Feeding and Industrializing Africa” from March 22-23, 2016 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. Africa’s agricultural transformation was at the centre of discussions. The objective of the workshop was to share experiences and develop best practices for the implementation of agropoles – agro-industrial integrated platforms – on the continent. The event also addressed the challenges of agricultural transformation in the context of fragility. The event brought together more than 120 participants from 30 Regional Member Countries, including Government officials and key actors from the public and private sector. Global agribusiness companies, international development partners and experts used the opportunity to provide their insights on developing agropoles and scaling up agroprocessing across A…

Why we are supporting Bt Cotton in Nigeria --- Textile manufacturers

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By Jimoh Babatunde Members of the Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association have thrown their weights behind the application of Monsanto agriculture before the National Biosafety Management Agency for the consideration of Environmental release and placing in market of genetically modified insect-protected (Bt) cotton in Nigeria. The body said Genetically Modified insect protected (Bt) Cotton can play an immense role in restoring attraction to cotton farming as well as reviving and repositioning the textile sector in the country.
In a release made available to Vanguard, the Acting Director General of the association, Hamma Kwajafa, explained that lack of confidence by participants across the cotton value chain over the years restricted the much-needed investment, adding that one of the root causes of this is tied tightly to the most important input in the industry, the cotton crop. “Cotton farming in Nigeria over the years has suffered because the opportunity cost of planting cotton has…

20, 000 rice farmers to get CBN N1.8bn loan in Niger

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Twenty thousand rice farmers in Niger would be assisted with a N1.8 billion loan, under CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme within the next four years, Niger Coordinator of Agriculture Graduates Association of Nigeria (AGAN), has said. The Coordinator, Malam Hussaini Iliyasu, stated this on Thursday in Minna at a stakeholders’ meeting.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Rice Value Chain Investment Project Multi Stakeholders’ meeting was held between the State Ministry of Agriculture, IFAD, CBN and the association.
He said that 150 agricultural agents would be employed for close monitoring of farmers under the scheme to ensure they pay back their loans as at when due.
Iliyasu said that the loan would cover the entire chain of the rice sector, adding that different cooperatives were involved in these programme.
Iliyasu said that the association had done a detailed study of the total package, consisting of inputs, technical support, equipment and marketing strategies for the past th…

Al-Makura’s wife commences harvest of 100 hectare farmland

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The Wife of Nasarawa State Governor, Hajiya Salamatu Al-Makura, on Thursday commenced harvest of a 100-hectare farmland she cultivated to feed widows, orphans and vulnerable children in the state.
NAN reports that the farm was established by the governor’s wife NGO, Mother and Child Care Enhancement Foundation (MCCEF) at Dedere in Obi Local Government Area of the state.
Speaking, Al-Makura said the farm was set up to encourage self reliance amongst widows and vulnerable children, as well as to address the issues of hunger and poverty.
``The farm is designed to train vulnerable groups on the use of modern agricultural technology affordable to improve yields.
``It grows variety of high yielding crops including orange, potatoes, maize, moringa, pepper and cucumber among others,’’ she said.
The wife of the governor said the project was supported technically by the Nasarawa Agricultural Development Programme (NADP) and the Institute of Human Virology of Nigeria (IHVN).
According to her, the Dede…

Experts urge FG to tackle food wastage to achieve food sufficiency

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An economic expert, Mr Emeka Ogbonna, has urged the Federal Government to improve food utilization through food distribution and better care practices to ensure food sufficiency in the country.
Ogbonna made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday.
He said that food wastage could be tackled with improved food processing, preservation and storage.
He described as unfortunate, situation where most times, food produced to be consumed in the country ended up as waste.
Ogbonna said that in states like Benue and Plateau, foods and fruits like oranges, tomatoes and potatoes were often left to perish.
``In this country, poor food storage of post-harvest results in the loss of up to a quarter of the food produced," he said.
Another expert, Mr Ibrahim Usman, said that food reserves should be set up to provide food security during unpredictable weather conditions that reduced food production.
Usman said that government should increase food availability an…

Farmers call for early distribution of fertilisers, farm inputs

Some farmers in Hadejia, Jigawa, on Thursday urged government at all levels to ensure early distribution of fertilisers to control drought and enhance food production in the country.
They also called for re-introduction of Growth Enhancement Support (GES) Scheme, to enhance farmers’ access to fertilisers and farm inputs.
A cross section of the farmers, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Hadejia, while commenting on dry-spell warning by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet).
NAN recalls that NiMet had predicted dry-spell in northern part of the country this rainy season.
The agency advised farmers to ensure effective utilisation of the rainy period and encouraged them to plant drought resistant seeds to avoid losses.
Malam Musa Wakili, a farmer, said that the call was imperative to enable them cultivate their farmlands on time before the dry-spell.
Wakili stressed the need for government to support farmers with drought resistant and early maturing see…

Only farmers with certification from AFAN will access funds, says chairman

The Lagos State chapter of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has  said that
access to agriculture funds would be granted to only those farmers who were certified by the Association. The AFAN Chairman, Chief Femi Oke, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos. Oke, who said that funds meant for farmers were usually routed through commercial banks for proper monitoring of the process, added that the Association was also a duly recognised entity. He added that ``we are saying that even AFAN is recognised because there is no farmer that will access funds now without passing through AFAN in Lagos State. ``AFAN has been given the mandate to certify farmers and letters of certification will be given to such farmers in order to easily identify them and to help them to access the funds. ``However, commercial banks are expected to keep track of the funds and to ensure the repayment plan. ``Considering peoples' readiness to pay back loans, we…

Aquaculture, alternative source to attracting foreign investment, says expert

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Mr James Awomovi, the Manager, Fishful Thinking Consult, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Wednesday said that aquaculture had several potentials that could attract foreign investment and boost tourism in Nigeria if properly developed.
Awomovi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that aquaculture had become one of the fastest growing food production sectors in the world.
He said that this entailed the cultivation of fishes in tanks, ponds or ocean enclosures mostly for consumption.
``If aquaculture can be developed and made more attractive, it has the potential to attract foreign investment into the country.

Farmers urged to cultivate pineapple, pawpaw

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A farmer in Ekiti, Chief Korede Abidakun, has advised farmers to invest in the cultivation of pineapples and pawpaw fruits because of their nutritional values to the human body. Abidakun told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday at Ilasa in Ekiti East Local Government Area of the state that there was also a high demand for the fruits by juice factories across the country. ``Farmers, especially youths, who have decided to invest in agriculture should embrace the cultivation of pineapples and pawpaw. ``There is a ready-made market for these fruits and they are cheaper to cultivate when compared with the cultivation of other crops,’’ he said. Abidakun, however, advised intending farmers to ensure that they plant high-yielding-pawpaw seeds and new pineapple varieties.